Nunavik’s regional government wants more local water testing

Two communities haven’t submitted water quality reports since last year


KUUJJUAQ – If you live in Ivujivik on the Hudson Strait, chances are you are melting ice for your drinking water or boiling it for many minutes to make sure it’s safe to drink.

That’s because no testing samples for water bacteria have been submitted from this community since the middle of August 2012, according to numbers tabled Feb. 27 at the Kativik Regional Government council meeting in Kuujjuaq.

And when the KRG doesn’t receive any water test results, it automatically puts out a boil water advisory so people don’t get sick from drinking lake or river water that could have high bacteria levels.

Many of Nunavik’s 14 communities did regularly submit their water analyses to the KRG. Kuujjuaq, Aupaluk, Kangirsuk, Quaqtaq, Kangiqsujuaq and Kuujjuaraapik submitted 100 per cent of their weekly reports from Nov. 1, 2012 to Feb. 1, 2013.

The KRG’s municipal public works department aims for an 85 per cent compliance rate throughout the region — but right now this rate stands at only 72 per cent, thanks to the dismal results from Ivujivik and Umiujaq on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay, which also sent in no water testing reports from November to February.

In the case of Ivujivik, the poor results are due to the problems that the water plant operator had reaching the plant, which is located some distance bit out of town. With no vehicle of his own, the operator hasn’t been able to reach the plant, regional councillor Matiusi Iyaituk told the KRG council.

As for Umiujaq, the water plant operator has been ill, councillors heard.

Other communities where the KRG would like to see some improvement in water testing: Puvirnituq, which submitted only eight in 11 weekly reports from November to February, and Inukjuak, which submitted only six of 11 reports.

These kind of results are “not acceptable,” said a report tabled by the KRG’s municipal and public works department at the meeting.

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