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

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison hopes for economic recovery plan in upcoming federal budget

Kootenay-Columbia Conservative looking for post-pandemic recovery plan in next week’s Liberal budget

The airport was one of several to receiving funding for its medevec services. (Columbia Valley Airport photo)
Fairmont airport receives $90,000 in Provincial funding

It’s one of several airports to receive provincial funding

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Marylou Jensen. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP searching for missing senior

Marylou Jensen left her Grenfell Road home on foot at 5 p.m.

A dumpster was on fire behind a residential complex in downtown Penticton Tuesday afternoon. (Brennan Phillips Western News)
Dumpster fire extinguished in downtown Penticton

There has been a string of dumpster fires lately

Skogie’s Express Tunnel Wash on Anderson Way in Vernon. (Submitted photo)
Lawsuit dismissed after vehicle damaged while inside Okanagan car wash

Civil Resolution Tribunal dismisses driver’s claim following a collision inside Skogie’s car wash in Vernon

The future of the Eagle Pass Lookout cabin is being discussed. (File photo)
Options presented for future of former Eagle Pass fire lookout in Shuswap

Stakeholders met in 2020 to discuss the restoration, or possible removal of the cabin

(Mayor Cindy Fortin - Peachland)
Peachland mayor declines early vaccination offer

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she wants seniors, immunocompromised individuals to get the shot first

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

Most Read