Iqaluit residents can once again drink water from their taps.
The chief public health officer lifted the “do not consume” order for the City of Iqaluit’s drinking water as of Friday.
“Thorough testing and assessments conducted over the past eight weeks show that the water is safe for consumption and that the risk of recontamination is low,” Dr. Michael Patterson said. “I want to thank Iqalummiut for their patience, I know these past weeks have been challenging.”
The GN, the City of Iqaluit and an engineering firm have introduced multiple measures to address the contaminated drinking water, including the installation of new monitors were installed, the cleanup of the site where fuel was detected underground, tanks were scrubbed and new procedures were brought into place to prevent similar incidents and to better respond to such circumstances, should they occur in the future.
The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer waited until at least three consecutive water test showed no evidence of hydrocarbon contamination in the water treatment plant before allowing residents to resume drinking tap water. The ordeal lasted nearly two months.
The city has consequently ceased bottled water distribution and closed all its water refilling depots.
Although the water is safe to drink, Iqalummiut are advised that there might be some residual fuel odour in the water in
some areas. It should go away after running the water for approximately 20 minutes and cleaning the aerator, according to the Department of Health.
The City of Iqaluit should be contacted to arrange for water testing if the smell persists.