Prince Rupert, Burns Lake Receive Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects

Brittany Webster

Prince Rupert's water woes are one step closer to being fixed - the city is receiving approximately $22 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments to complete their water infrastructure project.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has been advocating for clean water within Prince Rupert for several years, first addressing the increased lead levels in water at local schools, and is proud to be part of the solution.

[PHOTO:   North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice in Prince Rupert -- CFTK News/Brittany Webster]

"It's a really expensive project, however, there is nothing more fundamental than having access to clean drinking water. So this is a really critical piece of infrastructure that's needed in Prince Rupert, and so I'm happy to be a part of providing that to residents and visitors alike in Prince Rupert," Rice said.

The funding announced today comes from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and will go towards the construction of a new water treatment plant and submarine water pipeline.

The Prince Rupert project is one of 15 water improvement projects around BC receiving funding from the federal and provincial governments.

The Village of Burns Lake is getting a combined total $3.5 million from the two levels of government.

The grant will pay for a new water treatment building and the installation of two biological manganese removal filters, as well as chemical arsenic removal filters.

Mayor Dolores Funk says the Burns Lake Band and Lake Babine Nation have partnered with the village on the project -- and work should begin soon.

[PHOTO:   Burns Lake Mayor Dolores Funk -- Village of Burns Lake]

""This means cleaner drinking water for Burns Lake, which is a critical part of a healthy community, and we're just extremely grateful to be able to go ahead with this project that we've been working hard on for quite some time now -- staff has been working on getting the project and all the details underway and we're hoping to award those contracts shortly -- I think the goal is to have the earth work and concrete work done this fall and have the water treatment built in the spring," she said.

Funk says Health Canada has identified manganese concentrations in the Burns Lake municipal water system as being well above recommended levels.

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