Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut August 29, 2017 - 7:00 am

Feds fund new water filtration system for Nunavut community

Whale Cove remains under boil water alert

SARAH ROGERS
This week, the federal government said it will pay $375,000, along with the GN’s portion—$125,000—towards the Whale Cove Emergency Supply project. (PHOTO COURTESY OF HAMLET OF WHALE COVE)
This week, the federal government said it will pay $375,000, along with the GN’s portion—$125,000—towards the Whale Cove Emergency Supply project. (PHOTO COURTESY OF HAMLET OF WHALE COVE)

A boil water alert remains in place for residents of Whale Cove, while the Kivalliq community awaits the arrival of a new water filtration unit.

For the last three summers, the Nunavut community has seen high levels of coliform in its drinking water, forcing the territorial government to issue advisories.

This week, the Government of Nunavut announced that the federal government will pay $375,000, along with the GN’s portion—$125,000—towards the Whale Cove Emergency Supply project.

The money will fund a new temporary water treatment unit that is now en route to the Kivalliq community by sealift.

“The new unit will significantly increase the quality of water for residents and will avoid boil water advisories until the current water treatment plant is upgraded,” said Nunavut’s minister of Community and Government Services, Joe Savikataaq, in an Aug. 25 release.

The release goes on to say the GN is looking at long-term solutions to address emergency water treatment issues across the territory.

Whale Cove has welcomed the new filtration system, but says it may not be installed in time to put to use before the winter arrives.

The unit is scheduled to arrive in early September, said Ian Copland, the hamlet’s senior administrative officer, but the community will have to bring in a professional to install the system.

It will all depend on timing, he said, because the lake from which the community draws its drinking water tends to freeze up by October.

Meanwhile, the boil water alert remains in place. Copland said the local co-op store now has a reverse osmosis system which allows residents to purchase filtered water.

Typically, the levels of coliform in Whale Cove’s drinking water source drop over the winter months, Copland said, although the hamlet has yet to identify the source of the bacteria.

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