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Perfectly clean water, right from the tap

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“It is so nice for our elders and our children to be able to get up in the morning, turn on the tap and have clean, safe water.”
That was the sentiment in Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation (WSFN) on Tuesday (Aug. 11) when they held a grand opening ceremony for their brand new water treatment plant, a project which has been in the works for two years.
“Prior to this treatment, we had surface water out of the Woody River, about 15 km from here, coming into our water plant that was pretty much obsolete,” said WSFN Chief Elwood Zastre. “Now ,we have well water, two artisan wells, coming from the west side of the highway where there’s no chance of contamination.”
All of the homes located on the reserve by the highway have cisterns built in, and water will be hauled from the new water treatment plant to each residence.
“In the future, when there is more funding, we are going to put a line in to each house and use that,” said Zastre, noting that the new school that is being constructed will be connected by water line to the new supply when it is completed.
Funding came from the federal government through Indigenous Services Canada, which aims work collaboratively with partners to improve access to high quality services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Zastre. “We lobbied for it hard on our council and we’re happy that it came in. There were ups and downs but we overcame them and look what we got – a nice brand new water plant. And we are so happy for that water.”
The facility was constructed by Parkwest Projects Ltd. and is expected to be operational for at least 20 years.
Zastre also added that WSFN has plans to build a lagoon and supply wastewater lines to reserve residents in the future as well.

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Jeremy Bergen
REPORTER
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