N.S. First Nation grappling with water crisis calls for federal action
CHAPEL ISLAND, N.S. — A Nova Scotia Indigenous community struggling with dark, foul-smelling tap water is calling on the federal government to fix a problem that has lingered for a decade.
Potlotek First Nation residents have been told not to drink, bathe or wash clothes in the water, which has high levels of iron and manganese.
Chief Wilbert Marshall says the community of about 500 people has been working with Ottawa on a solution for 10 years, but residents still don’t have clean, reliable drinking water. Health Canada says the spike in minerals is related to seasonal factors such as temperature changes and turnover in the nearby lake water, and although levels should decline there is no set time frame for the water to return to normal.
The federal department says there are no known health impacts tied to the reported levels of iron and manganese, but it says boiling the water would only further concentrate the minerals.