”Canadian Western Mechanical Ltd. has a COVID-19 protocol in place that limits exposure to the community while still being able to safely complete the work required,” says Dawn Bursey, Tl’etinqox Government capital project manager. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

$1.7 million in water improvements underway at B.C. First Nation west of Williams Lake

New chlorination system coming for Tl’etinqox

A First Nation community west of Williams Lake is finally seeing upgrades to their water system.

The $1.7 million upgrades at Tl’etinqox (Anaham) will include a new well that will provide clean, safe water, through expanding and renewing the existing control building and booster station, upgrades to all three community reservoirs, and new watermains installed near the control building and health centre in order to improve fire protection and system reliability.

A new chlorination system will also be installed in the control building to ensure drinking water remains safely disinfected, as well as propane generators so that the water system can continue to operate in the event of a power outage.

“The operations team is thrilled that the new system will also be fully automated and remotely accessible,” said Tl’etinqox Government capital project manager, Dawn Bursey.

Read More: How to safely drink water in areas impacted by flooding

Bursey said efforts to improve the old water system that was in constant need of ongoing maintenance had started over six years ago.

In 2016 a new well which will now be the main supply of water for the new system was drilled. A chlorination system which was intended as a temporary measure to rid the community of future boil water advisories until a new system could be fully implemented was also installed.

“With continuous boil water advisories in the community due to the poor water quality, this project has been a major priority,” she said.

“The realization of this project has required significant effort from Chief and Council in making this project a priority with Indigenous Services Canada, maintenance personnel in keeping the old system running, and the rest of the team for keeping track of it all.”

Read More: B.C. First Nation adopts historic law to protect Fraser River

Former operations and maintenance director Wilfred Frank who was manually filling reservoirs and turning on pumps every day in order to ensure the community had a constant supply of water will serve as operations lead through the initial phases of the project.

Current operations and maintenance director, Tyron Harry along with Henry Dick will lead the operations team through construction. They will be working closely with Urban Systems and lead-contractor Canadian Western Mechanical Ltd. from Quesnel that had completed site servicing work for the community’s new nurses residences in 2018.

“Tl’etinqox government has worked hard to ensure that the project will proceed this year despite complications from the ongoing pandemic,” Bursey said.

“Measures are in place to reduce the risk to both the project team, and community members.”

Work is anticipated to be complete by the end of the year.

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