APTN provides context for the fiasco that led to the posturing over Attawapiskat. It started March 5th, 2005.
The sewage backup happened around the same time that De Beers, the international diamond company currently operating a mine 90 kilometres from the community, disposed their sewage sludge into the community’s lift station, said Hookimaw.
Documents obtained by APTN National News back Hookimaw’s claim.
Ontario First Nations Technical Services was called in to assess the situation and its engineers concluded that the De Beers discharge may have been behind the sewage backup that ended up in the basements of homes in Attawapiskat.
“What is currently known is that De Beers discharged a load of sewage into the pumping station. This might have precipitated the overloading of the pumping station, thereby causing sewage backup,” said the engineering report.
The engineers also noted that the federal government was informed of the problems, but Ottawa did little to try to fix things, according to a follow-up report by different engineers with First Nations Engineering Services.
“The general condition of the pump control panel is very poor. There is a key switch to control manual selection of the pumps. It is very difficult to operate and may fail at anytime,” the report noted.
(bold and emphasis mine)