Dalhousie, University of Ottawa researchers study Coral Harbour’s water quality

Water-monitoring devices called loggers will be placed along the river and coast area of the hamlet

Researchers from Dalhousie University and the University of Ottawa have placed devices called loggers along the river and coast of Coral Harbour. The devices are being used in a study of the drinking water quality in the North. (Photos courtesy of Sarah Newell)

By Madalyn Howitt

People taking a walk along the water in Coral Harbour this summer may notice some tools lying on rocks along the riverbed or jutting out from the sand.

They are water monitoring devices, called loggers, placed by a team of researchers from Dalhousie University and the University of Ottawa. They have been placed along the river and coast area of the hamlet.

The loggers are a key part of a four-month study into freshwater sustainability and security in the northern territories, said Sarah Newell, executive director and lead researcher with the Foxe Basin Kivalliq North Sapujiyiit/Guardians of the Sea organization and a former post-doctoral researcher at the University of Ottawa. 

The loggers measure water levels, as well as the temperature and electrical conductivity of the water, Newell said, and will help the community and researchers understand how metals, nutrients, and bacteria can enter water reservoirs. 

Coral Harbour’s reservoir water comes from the Post River.

Different pathways can lead to contamination of reservoirs, like precipitation or groundwater. 

The loggers will be in the river from mid-July to early October, according to a project summary Newell provided to Nunatsiaq News. 

“The longer the devices are on the land, the better quality information they can get,” Newell said. 

Having them in the water for that time period will help researchers understand the changes in the river’s water level and quality and provide more information to support municipal water operators.

Newell said that anyone who comes across the loggers while near the water should avoid moving them.

“If you see these on the land please leave them so they can be picked up in a few weeks,” Newell said in a post on the Coral Harbour’s community Facebook page. 

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