Water infrastructure developments on way for Anacla | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Water infrastructure developments on way for Anacla

Anacla, BC

Anacla residents will soon be able to access cleaner water as upgrades are planned for infrastructure in the Huu-ay-aht community.

The Huu-ay-aht First Nation is receiving $883,500 in provincial funding and $4,417,500 in federal funding for Anacla water treatment system repairs and expansion. The project will construct a new water treatment plant, a new reservoir, rehabilitate two wells and replace a damaged water line. 

“It is essential that our citizens have safe drinking water, our oldest water services in the lower village so we want to ensure this service is updated,” said Edward Johnson, Huu-ay-aht deputy chief councillor. “With the expansion of Anacla, we want to ensure we have the capacity for future growth. Along with major updates, we are aiming for improvement in operations and in the treatment processes.”

Johnson said the community’s water system has undergone many phases of expansion since the modern form of the village was established in 1969. In 2011, the community relocated their reservoir to the highest elevation for fire protection.

The nation has considered various locations for the new water treatment plant during feasibility studies. Johnson said one main factor in determining relocation of the new treatment building is to ensure it is out of the tsunami inundation zone.

“Our water source is an aquifer and there are some natural characteristics that make it challenging, such as the operators have struggled with providing treated water with safe levels of chlorine residual due to the fluctuating ammonia levels,” Johnson said. “The presence of ammonia has been confirmed by waterline through additional water sampling/testing. As such, the treatment process will need to be updated to suit the characteristics of the groundwater.”

To ensure safety of the community’s drinking water, the nation has a third-party conducting water quality testing biweekly and reporting the samples to the First Nations Health Authority.

Construction of the new water infrastructure is expected to bring jobs for Huu-ay-aht members.

“We are always working with contractors and project managers to ensure that there is employment and training opportunities for HFN citizens,” Johnson said. “We will be working with our third-party contractor to ensure we have long-term employment opportunities for the treatment of our water system.”

The provincial government has set aside more than $31.6 million through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) to support 14 drinking water and wastewater projects across British Columbia.

These projects include the expansion of existing drinking water supply, the construction of new water treatment plants, upgrading existing wastewater treatment plants with filtration and ultraviolet disinfection systems, as well as the installation of new water supply lines and reservoirs.

The Green Infrastructure Stream helps build greener communities by contributing to climate change preparedness, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting renewable technologies.

“Having reliable access to clean drinking water is vital for the health and wellbeing of people in Anacla,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim, in a press release. “This joint support from our government and the federal government will ensure people in the community have safe, dependable water treatment infrastructure for years to come.” 

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