Students at UNBC are helping Fort St. James and the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation clean up their water.

Environmental Engineering students conducted a feasibility study, evaluating different water treatment methods to replace the existing lagoons.

The study found that a Sequencing Batch Reactor was the ideal choice for the area. The reactor uses micro-organisms to consume organics and other matter in the water.

“It’s actually a system that has been applied in other communities” said Student Maureen Long. “For example the Tl’azt’en first nation near Vancouver uses a Sequencing Batch Reactor”

While the study says the reactor is the best option for the area, it is also one of the most expensive.

“The system that we chose, the Sequencing Batch Reactor, is between nine and eleven-million dollars” said Long. “That’s with all the engineering, installation and purchase of the equipment.”

While a decision has not been reached as to whether or not the area will follow the students’ recommendations, Long says Fort St. James council is looking into possible funding options for the reactor.