Results from drinking water tests in Champagne are complete, but will not be revealed until tonight at a public meeting in the community, said Champagne/Aishihik First Nations director of lands and resources Lawrence Joe.
The results, to determine if the contaminants causing radiation in Champagne’s well water is artificial or natural, were expected in late September, but have only arrived now.
More than 20 residents in the tiny community along the old Alaska Highway have been unable to drink or use their water since September 19.
The ban came after tests on September 1 revealed seven of 12 wells in Champagne contained radionuclide levels up to four times higher than those allowed under Canadian standards.
Three additional wells were tested and the water was found to contain a cocktail of chemicals, including engine coolant and paint thinner.
Tests of soil in 15 locations in the community found radiation in 14 locations, including one location with highly harmful alpha radiation.
Champagne/Aishihik has installed 195-litre water tanks filled with potable water from Haines Junction in front of several homes.
Uranium was found in a community well in Champagne in 2004.
The self-governing First Nations have been in charge of water testing since 1995, adhering to Yukon government water testing guidelines.
“It takes a long time to get these things analyzed,” Jillian Chown, of JC Environmental, a consulting firm working on the testing, said on Friday.
Tonight’s meeting in Champagne will be open to community members only, said Joe.