Water Supply Integrity Program for First Nation Communities – Introduction
Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Clean and safe drinking water is a necessity of life. Most Canadians expect to have access to safe drinking water. On First Nation communities this expectation is not always realized. The safety of public water systems on First Nation reserves is the responsibility of the Federal Government. The Federal Government has in place funding programs focusing on the integrity of communal water supplies, but these supplies often do not service all households on the reserve. Many households are serviced by private water wells that get overlooked and are not routinely tested or maintained, putting the users at potential health risk. Waterline Resources has developed a water supply integrity program for First Nation communities that is designed to address health-based concerns related to domestic use water sources, including private water wells. The water supply integrity program starts with the identification of all water sources used for domestic purposes on the reserve. Waterline then conducts a baseline assessment program by inspecting and testing water sources for integrity, water quality and, in some cases, water quantity issues. During this process, Waterline provides training to selected community members on the assessment procedures so that the community members are able to complete the tasks themselves during future assessments. The results of the baseline assessment program are provided to the users to inform them of any water source issues, the suitability of the water supply, and how to maintain the source into the future. The program promotes routine maintenance to ensure source integrity and testing to confirm suitability of the water supply over time. Community members are trained how to identify water source issues, address the identified issues, and determine when additional support may be required. A water supply integrity program benefits the First Nation community by securing their water resources and ensuring the integrity of each water supply for the health of all community members at present and into the future.