O'Chiese Public Works

 

 

WHAT WE DO:

O'Chiese Public Works takes care of the larger assets within the community of O'Chiese 

           *Provide the day to day maintenance on the larger buildings

           *assist the on-site maintenance staff with technical help and supplies required

           *Maintain public roads and driveways

           *Maintain public areas

           *Private well chlorinating to remove boil water advisories

 

EMPLOYEES:

Manager:           Risha Rushton

Field Manager:   Malcolm Whitford

Receptionist:      Lorinda Goodrunning

Band's Water Plant Technician:        Donnie Bremner and Jeremy Littlejohn (in training)

Private Well Servicing Technician:  Abel Lagrelle (in training)

Administrative Assistant:                 Adeline Whitford 

 

 

INFRASTRUCTURE:
Main Sewage Lagoon

Bridges (North and South)
Dump

Sewage System Piping

Fire Hydrants

Roads/Road Cleaning,

Garbage Trucks

Large Building Maintenance

Pump Houses

Private Wells

 

O’Chiese First Nation’s Water Well Management Program

                                        By Risha Rushton, Public Works Manager, O’Chiese First Nation     April 2018

 

                           

Like many First Nations in Canada, in the spring of 2016, O’Chiese First Nation had numerous active boil water advisories (BWAs). Of the 200 residential water wells in the community, approximately 65 were on a BWA. The duration that the wells were on a BWA ranged in length from days with some up to three years old. Little information on the condition of each well was available at that time so the team at Public Works went to work.

 

We began by performing a field level assessment of each water well on the reserve – we GPS marked, photo documented, and reported descriptions and current conditions of every wellhead. We then identified how many and which homes each well serviced and matched available Alberta Water Well Drilling Reports to their affiliated wells. This was a challenge as the provincial reports only identify drilling locations down to a centre point within a quarter section and on O’Chiese we could have multiple wells within a quarter section. That’s where our Elders came in and played a big role to help. We held four separate meetings with Elders and long-time residents within the community to join us for tea and help us to match the photos of wells and homes with the name of who may have lived there at the time the well was drilled. This allowed us to match each well with its proper well report, and that allowed us to correctly calculate the volume of treatment needed to shock each well.

 

Now, in the middle of April we are down to only 2 active BWAs and our goal of getting to ZERO is closely within sight! This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our water well shocking and maintenance team: Abel Lagrelle (Well Tech), Adeline Whitford (Water Admin Tech) and Lance Mackinaw (Well Tech Assistant). We are also grateful for the devoted monitoring and assistance of Angella Dahl (Health Canada) and the top notch tailored direction and oversight of Perry MacDonald (PM Environmental).

 

Working together to use good planning by thoroughly assessing each well and determining schedules and action plans has helped us to move toward our goal and create sound baseline data to inform our program and keep O’Chiese healthy and safe for years to come.