City of Iqaluit to pay $800K to clean contaminated underground water tanks

City councillors approved remediation plan for water treatment plant Tuesday evening

City councillors voted unanimously Tuesday evening to award a contract to Tower Arctic Ltd. to clean underground water tanks at the city’s water treatment plant that were contaminated with fuel last fall. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Updated July 27 at 2:23 p.m. ET

The City of Iqaluit has awarded Tower Arctic Ltd. an $800,000 contract to clean three contaminated underground water tanks at the city’s water treatment plant.

City councillors voted unanimously during Tuesday’s council meeting to hire the company to remediate the North and South Clear wells and the mixing chamber at the plant. The tanks were contaminated by fuel last fall and winter.

Tower Arctic Ltd. had the lowest of three bids, the highest coming in at nearly $6 million.

People in Iqaluit were advised not to consume the city’s water between October and December because fuel had contaminated its water supply.

The contamination is believed to have entered the water treatment plant from an old fuel tank.

In December 2021, a second contamination was discovered inside a mixing chamber at the plant. That contamination was caused by black tar-like substance within the chamber’s concrete walls.

The city is still bypassing the water treatment plant and delivering water to homes by truck and piped services.

In May, WSP Canada, the consulting firm hired by the city, recommended the city remove all of the black tar substance from the tanks and install a concrete layer of protection.

The work will include structural remediation of the tanks’ concrete walls and an application of protective coating, as well as other repairs, says city spokesperson Aleksey Cameron. It’s scheduled to begin in September.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by With $200+ million why are they not just building a new water plant? on

    Why is the city doing a 800k patch job on something that needs total replacement? They just got over $200 million from the feds, are they not supposed to build a new water treatment facility with that money?

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    • Posted by Bert Rose on

      And until the new systems are engineered and installed where you you propose we get safe water?
      Gotta think a bit eh?

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    • Posted by Scott on

      The federal funding is for seeking an alternative water source and has nothing to do with the water treatment plant.

      The City published one of the engineering reports on their website and it says the plant is in excellent structural condition.

      There are multiple engineering firms working on the water treatment plant. I’m sure they assessed the tear down option, and collectively decided that the plant is in good enough shape to do a patch job.

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  2. Posted by Concerned on

    I have to scratch my head again on this decision, with new federal funding available and yet deciding to spend nearly a million dollars on a contaminated area why not build a new modern holding tank? We can do better than this!

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