GN lifts 13-week long boil water advisory in Nunavut community
Source of bacteria in Whale Cove never determined
Whale Cove residents can safely consume tap water in this Kivalliq community once again, Nunavut’s health department said Oct. 26, more than 13 weeks after the hamlet discovered high coliform counts in the water plant.
The territorial health department first issued a boil water advisory July 24, a precautionary measure put in place based on “unacceptable levels” of the bacteria found in the water system.
Tests done on the community’s water plant and water delivery trucks in July revealed high counts of coliform, bacteria that occurs naturally in plants, soil and in the digestive tracts of humans and animals, although humans are at risk of becoming ill from water-borne coliform.
But health officials have not reported any illness related to water consumption since the advisory went into place.
Through the summer, the Department of Community and Government Services, which manages the local water plant, steam-washed the facility and shock-chlorinated the community’s water trucks in the hope of finding the source of the bacteria.
In August, the CGS Department even sent divers into the water plant to disinfect its intake pipe.
But the source of the coliform was never determined, the health department said Oct. 26.
Hamlet officials believe the bacteria could have entered the water system in the early summer, when the Kivalliq region saw a lot of rainfall.