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

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

(Black Press files)
Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. McDonald, QC reviewed the evidence and determined reasonable grounds exist to believe in officer may have committed offenses. (Black Press files)
Crown considering charges against Williams Lake Mountie after high-speed pursuit: police watchdog

IIO says the man, who was arrested, sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries from the incident

Sarah Smith is a bereavement worker with 100 Mile Hospice. (Kelly Sinoski - 100 Mile Free Press).
‘Grief never goes away’: Hospice seeks to add programs

Growing demand for bereavement services in the South Cariboo region.

Abstract Aspens by Monika Paterson.
Photography exhibits all Shades of Nature

Parkside Gallery features local art

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)
Three deaths linked to COVID-19 outbreak in Vernon hospital

Interior Health reports two additional deaths at VJH

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Police are investigating after a man was shot Thursday, April 8 while sitting in a car in Vancouver. (Black Press files)
Man shot in Vancouver while sitting in a parked car: police

The victim is currently in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made.

Teachers from SD42 and other districts in the Lower Mainland flocked to Surrey on Tuesday in the hopes of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. (Sheelagh Brothers/Twitter)
Don’t line up for vaccines unless asked to come, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

Social media post shows teachers lining up outside of Surrey clinic for leftover doses

Most Read