Boil water advisory issued for Iqaluit

Water treatment plant shut down as cleanup of fuel contamination continues

The City of Iqaluit shut down its water treatment plant on Wednesday, following ongoing problems with the water supply being contaminated with fuel. (File photo by David Venn)

By Nunatsiaq News

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.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by Fantastic on

    Let the Kenny bell interviews roll….will we get answers? Probably not. Will the mayor save the day? Definitely not. Will they hide behind confusing data, in-camera sessions and unqualified experts? Forsure. Woohoo

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    • Posted by Shawn on

      The fuel definitely will spread around the water reservoir before seeping into the water reservoir. Removing the old fuel tank and leaving the residual fuel spill will lead to reoccurring problems and hazards. The government leaders do not have this common sense and logic. The public housing system is flunked up.

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      • Posted by Anguttialook on

        Welcome to hooterville…cleanup means burying everything…now you don’t see it…there it’s cleaned up…company gets paid…they collect large sums of money and are gone…eventually the barrels rust and it seeps fuel..chemicals ect ect…common practice in nunavut fuel by greed and short slightedness…then eventually consequences….more to come in other places in the artic…there its cleaned up ..out of sight and out of mind for now…more money squandered than the initial cleanup bill

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  2. Posted by nool on

    Since the fiasco in October (which I’m now realizing never really ended) I’ve paid a tidy sum to clean my water tank. Now, the city has once again put contaminated water in my tank? After I was instructed by the government to clean my tank? They need to at least acknowledge this.

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  3. Posted by Engine Tyme on

    Maybe it’s time for Nunavut Arctic College to offer an Engineering program.
    .
    Every community in Nunavut needs at least one engineer to look after the water plant, the waste treatment plant and the power plant in the community.

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    • Posted by George on

      It was probably an “engineer” who designed your current water supply.

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  4. Posted by Forever Optimist on

    “We think that may be just… a little bit of residual oil that was there,”
    “no evidence that a do not consume order is necessary.”
    … he expects the situation to be resolved “within the next day or so.”
    “I don’t foresee this being a huge issue, not like it was in October,”
    .
    Ah, the good ol’ January 17th Kenny Bell.

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  5. Posted by Concerned member on

    Having to use more power to boil the water, do we get a discount from our power bill

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  6. Posted by S on

    “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.”

    Wouldn’t the screening remove large things live sticks and stones – eliminating that concern, and kill larger organisms like nematodes, protozoans and bacteria? If so, why the “boil water” thingy instructions? Hech, I heard from a guy, who knows a giy in the Health department, that that chlorine stuff even kills those nano-micro coronavirus thingies, and that even synthetic-fibre masks filter the nano-micro virus thingies. Just repeating what I heard.

    • Posted by Water is life on

      It’s possible for bacteria and viruses to latch into sediment and fine sediment will pass through unless its pores are small enough like reverse osmosis I believe.

      • Posted by Water is life on

        When they latch onto sediment they may not have enough contact time for adequate chlorination

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