Water must be boiled in Kildonan

By Debora Steel, June 9, 2011

Not good enough straight from the tap. Water must be boiled in Kildonan until the reservoir can be flushed.

Kildonan — 

A boil water advisory has been issued for the Uchucklesaht Village of Kildonan.

Uchucklesaht’s new Chief Administrative Officer Scott Coulson reports that recent tests done on the water at the village reservoir indicated coliform bacteria contamination. A representative of Health Canada traveled to the area and confirmed that the testing done by Uchucklesaht was correct, and the water advisory was issued. It will remain in effect until the reservoir can be flushed.

A representative from Indian and Northern Affairs will be onsite by Monday, and it is expected the work to clean the system will begin on Tuesday.

There are 14 homes at the village site, and there has been no illness reported or linked to the bacteria.

Along with the advisory, which was hand-delivered to residents of the village, instructions on how to safely boil the water for consumption was also delivered. Uchucklesaht has stated that the situation is being handled as quickly as possible.

Most coliform bacteria do not cause disease, however, some rare strains, such as E. coli, can cause serious illness. Coulson assures residents that no E. coli has been detected.

Costs to flush the reservoir will be picked up by INAC, however, the situation has raised concerns about the cost of ongoing maintenance. The reservoir had not been cleaned for many years as there is no funding provided by Indian and Northern Affairs for water system maintenance.

The reservoir at Kildonan is an old one and that makes it even harder to keep clean, said Coulson. A proposal is being developed that could see much needed upgrades made to the system in the near future.