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Hydrocarbons found in Wabaseemoong water after initial testing

Water service was shut down on Dec. 23, 2022 due to accidental diesel contamination

WABASEEMOONG INDEPENDENT NATION — A shutdown of water service in Wabaseemoong Independent Nation was caused by accidental diesel contamination.

The community on Monday issued an update, providing the cause, while also saying preliminary work to assess and resolve the contamination has been unsuccessful.

A news release said testing samples after the preliminary work has found elevated levels of hydrocarbons remaining in the water.

“We are continuing to do all the work necessary to restore water, but as stated previously we also have to make sure the problem is fixed properly and the mandatory safety steps are taken," Chief Waylon Scott said in a news release. “There have been set backs along the way in the process, but we are continuing to work with everyone necessary to work as fast as possible.” 

The community shut down water service on Dec. 23, 2022, and remains without running water. About 350 residents were displaced, with those who are vulnerable and have compromised health having been asked to remain in Kenora to be monitored and supported by the community's health team.

The news release issued on Monday said the community has engaged WSP, which is leading a team to conduct a comprehensive investigation and oversee the remediation.

The community statement, which was meant to "clarify misinformation that is being circulated publicly," said there is no investigation into any types of vandalism at the treatment plant.


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