Solution to infected water suspended

More than 300 residents of Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation are under yet another boil-water advisery. Since 2003, annual tests have found E.

More than 300 residents of Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation are under yet another boil-water advisery.

Since 2003, annual tests have found E. coli and total coliform infecting 10 wells that service the First Nation’s main village.

Although Little Salmon staff repeatedly attempted to clean and disinfect the contaminated wells, the situation remains dire.

“The wells have been a problem for quite some time,” said independent consultant Jillian Chown.

Well pits in Little Salmon are highly susceptible to surface water runoff, are not sealed properly and are often too close to nearby septic systems, said the First Nation in a press release.

Chown and Vista Tek Ltd. completed a Little Salmon feasibility study for water supply upgrades in 2004.

 “The engineers involved sampled all the wells and did massive amounts of research and massive amounts of community consultation,” said Chown.

The study concluded a piped-water system is the best option for the community.

“It is the safest and the cheapest option and that’s what the First Nation wants,” she said.

Little Salmon applied to Indian and Northern Affairs’ First Nation Water Management Strategy and the Yukon’s Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, but neither program approved its application.

The Yukon government said the First Nation’s application lacked necessary information.

And Little Salmon doesn’t qualify for Indian Affairs funding because the federal department won’t support a piped-water system, said Chown.

“We were supposed to begin construction this summer,” she said.

“And the delays we have come across are just maddening.”

The First Nation cannot even reapply for territorial funding until this coming November.

Chown and the First Nation are meeting with Indian Affairs representatives Thursday to examine the wells in question.

“I’ve heard they will support fixing all the wells and putting in individual treatment, but it’s ridiculous because of the operation and maintenance costs,” said Chown.

“It’s not as safe and will cost more than if (Indian Affairs) put in a piped system.”

The First Nation’s chief and council have made the decision that its members will stay on the boil-water advisery until it gets a piped-water system.

When asked how long this might take, Chown said, “it could be years.”

Just Posted

UPDATED: Whitehorse Transit cancels some runs as union works to rule

City, YEU locked in dispute over severance pay, long-service bonuses

Unsolved murders team will take pressure off Major Crimes Unit, Yukon RCMP superintendent says

Supt. Brian Jones says Major Crimes Unit workload from last year wasn’t sustainable

Yukon housing minister promises announcement ‘in the coming days and weeks’

Opposition presses for details as social housing wait list balloons

Transit workers serve City of Whitehorse strike notice

Residents advised to make alternate travel arrangements starting March 19

Cleanup work set to start at former site of Whitehorse oil refinery

Crews will use thermal technology to remediate sludge pit that dates back to 1940s

Whitehorse city council approves Porter Creek group home

Concerns about crime, noise and consultation overblown, councillors say

I’m Fur Real offers platform for artisans to sell their work

‘There’s nothing better than buying something from the person who made it’

Perfect snow and weather conditions for Yukon Championships

‘These next few days, we will be in our glory’

Yukon Rivermen finish regular season at home

‘Having five teams visit us and 15 home games was incredible’

The huge cost of distracted driving

Distracted driving is a very serious issue affecting road safety across the country

Fiscal policy continuity in 2018 Yukon budget

Get ready for a big wave of debt

Yukon’s Eagle mine secures funding to get it to production

Utility board signs off on mine’s power purchase agreement

Parties spar over the size of French high school planned for Whitehorse

New school to have room for 150 students, earlier report called for space for 200

Most Read