Johnny Mark, LEA
Drinking water for the community of Wemindji is pumped from a well located
on the north side of the community, to the reservoir, which is on the
western edge of town. The reservoir was up-graded recently to meet the
needs of the growing population, as well as for fire protection purposes.
WATER TREATMENT AND DISTRIBUTION
The water distribution network is a loop system to prevent freezing. There
is no treatment for bacteriological organisms, however there is treatment
for uranium. Water analysis is done locally and the results are sent to
the Ministry of the Environment, the CRA and to the Public Health Division
of the Cree Health Board. Physio-chemical samples are sent to an accredited
laboratory for analysis.
Since the early 1980’s, wastewater treatment was through an anaerobic
process. The sludge was pumped from a lift station to two lagoons located
about 1.5 km west of the community. During high water levels (spring &
fall), the outflow of the lagoons would be released. This summer (2002),
wastewater treatment was up-graded to an aerated system. The aerated lagoon
system will be completed and become fully operational next summer.
The dumpsite is located about 2km to the northeast of the community. Since
this site has been full since 1996, we’ve had to resort to open pit burning
of domestic waste. Although approval for an in-trench waste disposal was
issued in 1999, the dump site was never opened due to reservations for
land-use, mainly of a traditional nature. However, this site will be opened
with the condition that only ashes from the incineration of domestic waste
be disposed off at this site. The Incinerator Project will be in operation
in the winter of 2003. As this will be a new innovation in solid waste
management, there will have to be an educational program to compliment
the maintenance program of the incinerator, as well as recycling, reuse
and reduce programs. The clinic manages its own bio-medical waste.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
Most families collect their recyclable cans and take them to the community
store for a refund. Some people go around the community to pick up tin
cans and some grab some along the way while at their health walk.