SCUGOG: The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) have taken the first steps to ensure that the residents of Scugog Island will be able to have access to safe, clean drinking water - with the proposed construction of a new water system.
After dealing with both an inadequate water supply system, and a Drinking Water Advisory from Health Canada since 2008, the MSIFN hopes to build a drinking water system on their territory on Scugog Island, to make sure that what comes out of the tap is clean for many years to come.
The new system would provide potable water to as many as 60 homes within the Scugog Island First Nation boundaries, and is estimated to cost approximately $3.3 Million in total. Actual costs will be based on the outcome of a feasibility study and the type of facility that is recommended and approved by the community and MSIFN Council.
As part of the study process, the MSIFN are hoping to secure a Small Communities Fund through the federal government that would cover two-thirds of the cost - leaving the Scugog Island First Nation with a bill of about $1.1 million.
Representatives from the MSIFN made a presentation to Scugog councillors at their meeting on Monday, Dec. 8, requesting a letter of support from the Township - a necessary piece of the grant application process.
Desmond Verasammy, operator of the current water system on the Scugog Island First Nation, told councillors that “We’re not looking for any funding, but a simple endorsement to help us attain grants. A new system is needed because the current one is substandard, and their are numerous issues with the safety of the water – since 2008 Health Canada has imposed a drinking water advisory in the reserve.”
Mr. Verasammy explained that the new system would be supplied by a number of groundwater wells, which would be dug on the Mississaugas’ territory. The number of wells and their location would be determined during the pending study, and would also feature a water treatment facility and a network of pipes, feeding the clean water into residents’ homes. The treatment facility would then be staffed by trained and qualified contractors.
“We are in the process of determining capacity of the on reserve wells now, and we will build appropriate distribution facilities - up to code with Provincial regulations,” said Mr. Verasammy. “We want to give confidence to the community that they will be taken care of now, and in the future.”
The deputatants recieved support from Scugog Council, and Mayor Tom Rowett directed staff to begin drafting a support letter for the project - noting that clean and safe water would lend itself to growth and development in the area.
If all goes according to plan, the study will take several months to complete, and will likely not break ground until the spring of next year - provided that the Federal SCF grant is approved.