Boil water advisory issued for Iqaluit
Water treatment plant shut down as cleanup of fuel contamination continues
Nunavut’s Health Department is advising Iqaluit residents to boil their tap water before consuming it, following the City of Iqaluit’s decision to shut down its water treatment plant.
The city said in a Wednesday afternoon news release that a “breach” of the plant had been identified that is believed to be the source of recurring fuel contamination over the past week.
This same breach is believed to be the cause of a “small contamination event” that occurred Wednesday morning that was detected by its real-time monitoring system, said the news release, issued by city spokesperson Geoff Byrne.
Efforts have resumed to remove traces of fuel from the plant’s water storage tanks. Engineers and other experts are also working on site to confirm how fuel worked its way back into the water supply. The city also says it has begun flushing its reservoir water to clean out contaminants.
In the meantime, water is being pumped from the Lake Geraldine reservoir through a bypass, a pipe that allows water from the resevoir to avoid contact with the concrete tanks at the treatment plant . That water is being screened and disinfected with chlorine, but because it isn’t filtered by the water treatment plant, the city says “residents may experience odours and tastes of their water that they are not used to, or notice slight discoloration or sediment in the water, similar to drinking water straight from a lake or similar body of water.”
The Health Department said in a news release to bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it to drink, prepare infant formulas, prepare juice or ice cubes, wash fruit or vegetables, cook or brush teeth.