Boil-water advisory lifted as Ahousaht reservoir returns to safe level

A boil-water advisory has been lifted and water levels in the reservoir serving Ahousaht, north of Tofino, have returned to safe levels.

The First Nation declared a local state of emergency after multiple leaks in the community’s water distribution system led reservoir levels to drop to 32 per cent, said Chef Greg Louie. A water level of at least 60 per cent is needed for firefighting.

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The state of emergency and boil-water advisory were lifted Thursday, a day after the leaks had been repaired and a barge of water was delivered to the treatment plant.

A precautionary boil-water advisory was put into effect Sunday after the water operator noticed an increase in water turbidity, said the First Nations Health Authority. An environmental health officer was sent to carry out further tests.

According to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council technical adviser on site, debris from road construction might have washed into the dam during heavy rainfall over the weekend, causing increased turbidity in the water, said Indigenous Services Canada.

Governments, businesses, community organizations, and charities pitched in with donations of water and money.

Louie said the community was overwhelmed and thankful to all of those who helped.

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