During the week of Jan. 24, a team of specialists including engineers, water quality chemist and environmental mediation experts were on site, according to the City of Iqaluit. The purpose of this visit was to investigate the condition of the water treatment tanks throughout the water treatment plant. These updates were provided by the City Feb. 7.
Parts of this included taking concrete samples, a structural/material assessment, testing and water sampling. The investigation is ongoing.
The multi-tank bypass remains in operation which means raw water from Lake Geraldine is still being pumped from the lake to the reservoir and distribution system. While the water normally goes through additional filtering and disinfection, the City of Iqaluit wanted to highlight and UV and chlorine disinfection processes this water still goes through.
Residents can expect to see sediments in their water as a result of this.
The bypass is expected to remain in operation until a permanent tank solution is installed. However, while the city stated that the findings of the investigation would inform this permanent solution, no timeline was provided by press deadline.
Water sampling and hydrocarbon monitoring efforts are continuing.
At the beginning of the year Iqalummiut started reporting a fuel smell coming from the water again. Jan. 15 it was announced by the Nunavut department of health fuel oil was found in the water, but were well below Health Canada’s drinking water values for health.
Then on Jan. 19 a a boil-water advisory was issued for residents, which was then lifted on Jan. 28 with Nunavut’s department of health deeming it “safe to drink without boiling.”
At the time Nunavut MP Lori Idlout called on the federal government to follow-up on a 2015 promise to end water crisises in Northern and Indigenous communities.