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Notice of intent to make a determination

Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Water Systems Upgrade – Public Comments Invited

July 29, 2020 – Indigenous Services Canada must determine whether the proposed Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Water Systems Upgrade, located in Bigtigong Nishnaabeg (Ojibways of the Pic River) is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. To help inform this determination, Indigenous Services Canada is inviting comments from the public respecting that determination.

Written comments must be submitted by August 29, 2020 to:

Aaron Pervais

Indigenous Services Canada, 100 Anemki Place, Suite 101, Fort William First Nation, ON, P7J 1A5


The Proposed Project

The 2019 Water Feasibility Study thoroughly investigated all possible water sources, treatment technologies, water storage options, fire protection options, and water supply systems for a 20-year planning period.  These options were analyzed based on various criteria including constructability, reliability, operations and maintenance efforts, costs, community preference, water quality objectives and environmental factors. A 20-year Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis was also carried out to determine the most cost effective solution.  The Water Feasibility Study (July 2019) recommended for Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation solutions are:

  • an infiltration gallery along the shores of Lake Superior as the new water supply source; a water transmission line to connect the water source to the plant;
  • a new water treatment plant with conventional filtration, both UV and chlorination as primary disinfection.;
  • a new below-grade reservoir under the new water treatment plant;
  • extension of existing water distribution system to new development;
  • For the Holistic Healing Centre, replacing high lift pumps and installing appropriate disinfection system to lift the ongoing DWA.

Once implemented, the new water system will meet the requirements for drinking water systems in Ontario and will provide a multi barrier approach, as required by the Ontario SDWA and in guidance with the Ten State Standards, 2012, including fire protection; and meet all current and future water demands with a 20-year planning period.  The new WTP will be built out of the Regional Flood Zone. 

The recommended system is the most cost effective, sustainable, technically sound, and feasible solution that will provide potable drinking water and remove the existing health and safety concerns, improve fire protection and address current issues of unreliable water source, unreliable water treatment due to age and lack of redundancy and inadequate water capacity.  The recommended system is a Level W4b and meets ISC's Water and Wastewater Policy and Level of Service Standards. 

As per ISC's Water and Wastewater Level of Service Standards and Fire Protection Services Level of Service Standards, average lot frontage shall be no more than 30 metres to qualify for Level W4b high pressure piped water distribution system with fire flow, which will be provided via fire hydrants on the water distribution system.


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