After decades of relying on wells that did not provide water that was safe to drink, more than two dozen homes on the Cowichan Tribes reserve south of Duncan are now connected to the municipal water supply.
However, there are still more than 20 homes on the reserve that rely on deliveries of bottled water because their wells don’t supply water that meets health standards.
Cowichan Tribes nurse Nilak Ironhawk-Tommy says “when we think of the poor water quality on First Nations reserves we always think ‘oh that’s far away,’ but we’re in a city and fairly close, and we’re the biggest nation in BC, and we still don’t have safe drinking water in all of our reserve.”
She adds that some houses “are not hooked up to the city water so we’re hoping in the future those ones will be next on the list.”
However, there is no timeline for when a project to rectify that situation could begin.
Ironhawk-Tommy says they continue to go in weekly and do water testing at the homes to check for fecal coliform and metals.
The First Nation held a ribbon cutting and celebration last week, connecting 27 homes on the Cowichan Tribes reserve to the City of Duncan’s Eagle Heights pumping station.