“‘I had glasses engraved with Too bets`huna, which in our language means ‘We live by water’, says Thomas. ‘As the Elders took their first sips, I had to hold back tears as the reality hit me. We’d done it, after years of waiting, after hundreds of conference calls and numerous forest fires and despite being in the middle of a pandemic. We were resilient and persevered.’

After decades of relying on bottled water, the village of about 50 people, located 200 kilometres west of Quesnel on Kluskus Lake, now has a steady supply of clean drinking water straight out of the tap, thanks to a new water treatment plant crafted to their unique needs.

‘We had to do things differently. And now, what was just a dream many years ago is reality,’ says Chief Liliane Squinas.

The robust treatment system relies primarily on ultraviolet light, paired with chlorine disinfection, to ensure clean drinking water that is free of harmful microbes. The setup is simple enough that it can be operated, maintained and even repaired without relying heavily on specialist skills or pricey components.

In the past, water treatment solutions for other remote communities foundered for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the system was too complicated or too burdensome to keep running. Other times the solution was simply too big for local conditions.

This time, Lhoosk’uz Dené members were determined to get it right and to build a system that was scaled to their needs, produced good-tasting and safe drinking water, and was easy to maintain and repair.”

Read more on Lhoosk’uz Dené village taps into clean water after a 20-year wait via UBC News.

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