From left, Adams Lake Band Councillor Shelley Witzkey, Elder Lawrence Michel, Kukpi7 (Chief) Cliff Arnouse, and Councillors Elaine Jules, Gina Johnny and Brandy Jules gather for the community’s Watermain Project Ground-breaking Ceremony on Sept. 30, 2020. (Karen Everard photo)

Adams Lake First Nation to extend water system after years of tainted water

Negotiations produce three-kilometre extension of water main in Shuswap

It’s been a long time coming, but the Adams Lake band will soon be able to provide more members of its community with good, clean water.

On Sept. 30, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the band’s Watermain Phase III Project, extending its water line about three kilometres along Kamloops-Shuswap Road.

“We’ve just signed papers and got some funding to build right to the borderline of Neskonlith and Adams Lake properties,” said Adams Lake Kukpi7 (Chief) Cliff Arnouse, explaining it’s been a long process.

He said when the previous phase was completed in the summer, it brought tears to the eyes of some elders.

“Some of the elders were crying because now they’ve got good clean drinkable water. They don’t believe it.”

Band member and project engineer with Gentech Engineering, Jerry Andrew, also spoke about the poor water quality some people have had to live with.

“We’re getting good clean water to people that have been on arsenic for how many years. You can’t even boil the water, you’re just making it more concentrated.”

Read more: Adams Lake band celebrates long-awaited, much-needed housing

Read more: Indigenous water activist Autumn Peltier speaks at UN sustainability forum

Kukpi7 Arnouse said some people were unable do dishes in it, even shower.

“We have to redo a lot of the hot water tanks, the piping and plumbing in some of the houses as the hard water just deteriorates the piping and what not. The tubs and toilets are all stained. We’re changing all those all the time…”

Arnouse said the Watermain Phase III Project was made possible through band contributions and tough negotiations with the federal government, which provided additional funding. The water system pumps water out of Little Shuswap Lake, filters and stores it in a reservoir.

The Phase III extension of the water system comes hand in hand with a new housing development the band announced a week earlier. The housing project, to be built nearly completely by band members, includes seven multi-unit lots, as well as 15 single-unit residential lots. The first six houses, which will be rent-to-own, are expected to be complete by next June or July.

In the long run, Kukpi7 Arnouse said the band will need to expand its reservoir system.

“I think this winter, I’ll be going to Ottawa to begin that process of negotiating for a bigger water reservoir system. Those are the bigger plans for the future.”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

First NationsWater

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren reports several campaign signs have recently been damaged or removed. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap BC NDP candidate says campaign signs stolen and damaged

Sylvia Lindgren says with pandemic, signs are more important to candidates this election

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Paddlers donned witch costumes a week ahead of Halloween for an event raising funds for the North Shuswap Christmas Hamper. (Sue Stilling photo)
Witches float for a good cause in the North Shuswap

Costumed paddlers turned heads on the north arm of Shuswap Lake while raising money for charity

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP located a hidden compartment in a vehicle, leading to a significant drug seizure, police said in a media release Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP find illicit drugs in hidden vehicle compartment

Police seized 4 kg of methamphetamine from a Jeep involved in a violent hit and run March 24

Vernon Fire Rescue Service firefighters watch on as heavy machinery demolishes a two-storey home built in 1901 after it was destroyed in Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
UPDATE: Vernon house destroyed in blaze comes down

Highway traffic is moving again as lanes reopen after morning fire

Most Read