A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued as of 4:00 p.m. in Iqaluit following the identification of a breach in the city’s water treatment plant – the suspected cause of the most recent instance of fuel entering the city water supply, announced the City on Jan. 19.
Residual hydrocarbons from the historic fuel tank, removed in the fall, entered into the distribution system and was noted on the real-time monitoring station established at the water treatment plant after the first discovery of hydrocarbons in the water supply.
The water treatment plant has been shut down and a broad flushing of the reservoir has started.
As part of an established process to to respond to contamination events, the City of Iqaluit is implementing a multi-tank bypass, which is a piped system that allows raw, untreated water from Lake Geraldine to avoid contact with all concrete tankage at the water treatment plant. This water is screened and goes through chlorine disinfection, however it does not go through a normal filtration process.
For this reason, a boil water advisory has been issued for Iqaluit by the Government of Nunavut. Residents may experience odours, the taste may not be what residents are used to and there may be discolouration or sediments in the water. Some sediment may also build up for those with water tanks.
A water pick-up depot is ongoing at the Elders Qammaq from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily, this water must also be boiled.
That afternoon Nunavut MP Lori Idlout called upon the federal government to follow up on a 2015 promise to end water crises in Indigenous and Northern communities and restated the City’s $180 million request to fix ageing infrastructure.
“We cannot wait any longer,” wrote Idlout in a statement. “The people of Iqaluit deserve safe drinking water. I’m urging the Liberal Government to act now and help fix this ongoing crisis.”