A local First Nation community has ended their long-term boil water advisory with the support of community partners and the federal government, and another advisory is expected to end next month.
Animakee Wa Zhing 37 First Nation is represented as one First Nation, however, the First Nation is geographically separated by Lake of the Woods, with the community of Regina Bay near Sioux Narrows and the community of Windigo Island near the United States and Manitoba borders.
The First Nation’s Chief Linda McVicar explains that the long-term boil water advisory in the Regina Bay community has been lifted after the installation of a new filtration system in their water treatment plant and a new distribution system for the community.
As well, Chief McVicar says Windigo Island’s boil-water advisory is expected to be lifted next month when similar work takes place in their community, which is only accessible by air or by water.
Regina Bay’s boil water advisory had been in place since September of 2002, while Windigo Island’s advisory has been in effect since 2015. It had previously been lifted in 2019, before needing more repairs.
According to data from Indigenous Services Canada, since 2015, 80 long-term water advisories have been lifted. However, long-term drinking water advisories are still in effect in 32 communities.
Northwestern Ontario has the highest concentration of communities in Canada suffering from long-term drinking water advisories. In NWO, 18 communities are dealing with long-term drinking water advisories.