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Well-water nearly ready in Constance Lake

Sunday January 30, 2011

All that remains between Constance Lake band members and well-water is the hook-up.

The community has been without a water source it deems viable since last summer, said Chief Arthur Moore.

The rashes and nail fungal infections – which Moore attributes to water being trucked into the community from a nearby co-generation plant – remain a reality in the community, as they have since before Christmas.

“The healthy concerns (we’ve had for months) are still around,” Moore said. “The community health clinic is monitoring people’s concerns.”

But Moore said the end of the water crisis could be coming soon.

“The piping of the ground water well is complete,” Moore said. “We just need an engineering assessment before the hook-up (of the pipes to the water treatment plant).”

This could be complete by mid-February.

But completing such a project in the winter is a concern for Moore.

“Like any work done in the winter, there is a risk with properly insulating the water line,” he said. “We don’t want to have to dig it up in the spring again.”

Moore said recent tests of the water supply have shown a second well will also be necessary. It could be drilled and operational in one or two years.

In the mean time, the community has started a study into constructing a new water treatment plant. Moore said it is still in its infancy.

“We need a long-term solution to resolve this crisis,” Moore recently said. “People don’t have enough water for drinking.”

Each community member is currently being provided two litres of water day, hardly enough for proper hygiene and cooking, Moore said.

Constance Lake has been without a permanent water supply since last summer due to a blue-green algae build-up on the lake that was the community’s main supply of water.

The community’s water treatment plant was unable to filter the algae.

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