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First Nations chief hires European company to help tackle unsafe water

From CTV - September 13, 2017

A First Nations chief in Cape Breton has taken matters into his own hands when it comes to his communitys bad drinking water and hired a foreign company to help solve the crisis.

Chief Wilbert Marshall of Polotek First Nation has brought in Brewal Ireland Ltd. to help find a solution to the high levels of manganese and iron in the communitys water that has made it unsafe to drink, bathe and even wash clothes in.

Were trying to come up with a temporary solution for now, but long-term somethings got to be done, Marshall told CTV Atlantic.

I dont know what to do any more. Were trying our best.

A recent report from Health Canada shows both concentrations of manganese and iron in the water supply are above the aesthetic objectives for Canadian drinking water quality.

Health Canada is asking the people of Potlotek First Nation not to drink, bathe or even wash their clothes in the water. Temporary shower stations and laundry facilities have been set up in the community.

With no quick fix on the horizon, Brewal Ireland Ltd. has set up its own system to test the water to try to find a solution.

In this situation we are hoping for 70, 80 per cent reduction in a very high level of manganese and iron, that's just for this test rig, said Les Walsh of Brewal Ireland Ltd. When we put the full unit here we will be able to take it down to Health Canada standards.

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