John Boros, of City of Surrey water operations turns on two underground roadside taps last December - one for potable water and one for emergency services - marking the completion of the long-awaited connection between SFN and the Surrey water supply. (File photo)

John Boros, of City of Surrey water operations turns on two underground roadside taps last December - one for potable water and one for emergency services - marking the completion of the long-awaited connection between SFN and the Surrey water supply. (File photo)

Semiahmoo First Nation tap water safe to drink again, as 16-year boil water advisory is lifted

New distribution system, connected to Surrey water supply, passes safety testing

In a historic step forward, the Semiahmoo First Nation has announced the lifting of the long-term permanent boil water advisory that has been in place since 2005.

In a media release issued Wednesday (March 31) the nation declared that — after years of negotiating agreements, and two years of constructing water and sanitary infrastructure — drinking water from the tap on SFN lands is safe once again.

The announcement credits the “cooperation and assistance” of the First Nation Health Authority, Indigenous Services Canada, the City of Surrey, engineering consultants Aplin & Martin, and Tybo Contracting.

“The nation lifts their hands in gratitude for all who assisted and participated with the enormous amount of work in getting us to this momentous day,” SFN Chief Harley Chappell said.

He also gave special thanks to the BC regional team of Indigenous Services Canada and support received from ministry headquarters.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo First Nation to have potable water ‘for sure’ by summer

READ ALSO: SFN, White Rock re-establish water connection

“(We’re) delighted in the working relationship with the federal ministry in fulfilling their commitment is assisting the nation for lifting the Long-term Permanent Boil Water Advisory,” he said.

Chappell also noted the forbearance of the SFN in the process of achieving a safe water supply, which has been a matter of concern for the nation since 1995.

“Most of all, we want to thank our nation’s members for their patience, and we are pleased with the new hope this brings to our future generations,” he said.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo First Nation lauds water agreement

The recommendation from the First Nation Health authority to lift the advisory followed extensive bacteriological and chlorine sampling on SFN’s new system by the community water monitor.

The new distribution system — which includes over 12 kilometers of pipes, three new pump stations, and 40 home connections — is connected into the Metro Vancouver water source through the City of Surrey.

Through new utility service agreements announced March 18, the City of White Rock is also providing water to some areas of the SFN easier to service from its westernmost border with White Rock.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of SurreyDrinking waterFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy Minor Hockey logo
Port Hardy Minor Hockey hands out year-end awards

The ‘Outstanding Parent Volunteer Award’ went to Kimberly Hunt and Blair Isaac.

Melissa Milligan is working to build a disc golf course in Port Hardy. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy’s disc golf survey results are in

138 people in total took the survey, with 94 per cent voting yes.

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Mya Servatius and Marilyn May handing out gift baskets to seniors. (Michelle Tremblay photo)
NISS students practice kindness by giving gifts to seniors

This project wasn’t part of a class at NISS, or for any extra credit.

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Most Read