Trudeau Government invests money into Nipissing First Nation water treatment plant

Nipissing First Nation is one of 37 clean water, wastewater, and storm water improvement projects for Indigenous communities. April 4/21 (Eric Taschner/CTV News Northern Ontario)

The federal government is investing almost $2.2 million for a water plant replacement project on the Nipissing First Nation.

Nipissing First Nation is one of 37 clean water, wastewater, and storm water improvement projects for Indigenous communities.

"Nipissing First Nation is grateful for the funding provided by this program, which will help us address significant issues with the pump house and water quality in our Veterans’ Lane community," said Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod.

McLeod calls this investment "a good step" in getting clean drinking water on all First Nation reserves.

"The issues we have on Nipissing First Nation are several fold because of our geography," he said.

"Nipissing First Nation is spread out 34 kilometres and within that we have several smaller communities in pockets. One water treatment plant doesn't fulfill all the needs of all of our community."

He says a recent water feasibility study determined that the pump house needs to be replaced with a full water treatment system. Following the study, the First Nation community identified a new well to service the community.

"This funding will cover the majority of the cost of these needed enhancements that will result in better supply and quality of the water our residents and businesses receive," said McLeod.

The government says it is investing more than $69.5 million in these projects. The provincial government will be providing over $16.9 million to help.

The 37 communities are contributing a combined total of $5.8 million toward their respective projects.

Additional investments in First Nation water and wastewater management projects include: replacement of drinking water pipes, upgrades to communal drinking water systems, sewage system rehabilitations, wastewater treatment plan upgrades and replacements, well upgrades, subsurface septic system rehabilitation, storm water management, and water storage and distribution system upgrades.

"We need to continue to build healthy and resilient First Nation communities by partnering with them on long term investments and key projects," said Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota.

"When it comes to water and wastewater systems, these investments are very important as they will provide safe and quality drinking water to all residents, help protect the environment, and support community development.”

Rota says since the Liberal government assumed power in 2015, 105 long-term boil advisories have been lifted. However, there are still 54 long-term boil advisories in 34 communities that remain in effect.

He adds that significant work is underway to get these communities access to clean drinking water as soon as possible.