Fuel spill poses risks to Baker Lake’s water supply: Nunavut government

Residents asked to stay clear of 10,000 litres of gasoline spilled near tank farm

Nunavut’s Department of Community and Government Services is asking people in Baker Lake to steer clear of a fuel spill near the community’s tank farm. This satellite image shows how close the tank farm is to the lake where the community of about 2,100 gets its water supply. (Image courtesy of Google Maps)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Nunavut government says that a fuel spill in Baker Lake threatens to contaminate the community’s fresh water supply.

“The Petroleum Products Division is working diligently and taking necessary measures to prevent this from occurring,” said a news release issued by the Department of Community and Government Services on Wednesday.

In the meantime, the department is asking Baker Lake residents to avoid the spill near the community’s tank farm, the area where the community’s annual fuel supply is stored.

A ruptured drain valve on a pipeline led to a leak of about 10,000 litres of gasoline, the news release states. That amount would be enough to fill the gas tanks of about 200 passenger vehicles.

That incident is believed to have taken place March 5, although the spill was not discovered until March 29, the release said.

“The investigation into how the fuel was released from the lined berm still ongoing,” the news release states.

CGS said efforts to contain and treat contaminated snow and ice are slated to begin soon.

“Our environmental response team is expected to arrive in the community this weekend,” said Nathaniel Hutchinson, Director of the territory’s Petroleum Products Division in an email to Nunatsiaq News.


A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of gasoline spilled. 

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(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by Trucker on

    Time to ration till sealift.

  2. Posted by articrick on

    Time to put on those trusty rubber boots.

  3. Posted by frank on

    about 10,000 litres, wow! that’s about 435 5 gallon jerry cans! even a cup of spilled fuel(gasoline) is easy to smell from a distance, doesnt matter if its winter or summer, the odor of a fuel (gas) is very strong and it took about 24 days before it was finally discovered? we can only hope that it doesnt contaminate baker lakes fresh water supply. baker lake residence, as soon as you taste gas in your water, notify your hamlet office so that it will be taken care of. there are many families that feed babies using water.

  4. Posted by Christina on

    The community of Baker Lake wasnt informed at all. We of Baker Lake finally found out when new was put in public. We havent had Covid but now how will we drink water? disinfect/clean our place so that we dont catch the virus. How will we wash? NTI, KIA, Hamlet and who ever didnt do their job from this happening bettter give us water supplies. Whos fault is this? This is so missed up.

    • Posted by Eskimos Fan on

      Thank you.

  5. Posted by aputi on

    incompetent person

  6. Pingback: Fuel spill poses risks to Baker Lake’s water supply: Nunavut government – Water News Hub
  7. Posted by ExplosiveDeath on

    Those in charge might want to tell the people working at the spill to stop smoking!

  8. Posted by Explosive Death on

    How is one supposed to “stay clear?” People are living right across the street. The main road passes right by the spill and the tanks. The school bus stops at the same spot as the spill. Workers are smoking standing right next to the spill. Is there immediate danger? Are residence and their children at risk? I don’t believe we need to be schooled on the dangers of sniffing gasoline. IE: Brain Damage!

  9. Posted by pissed off on

    “spill is believed to have happened on March 5th and reported only on March 29th“

    Wow!! This is called lack of supervision of the worst kind.

    Who is the well paid director that failed here ? Sounds like so many other small community`s yearly disaster of one form or another.

    Every year we find out about easily avoided tragedies of this kind when nobody ends up being reprimanded .
    Shame again !!


  10. Posted by ExplosiveDeath on

    ‘spill’ at the old diesel generator. ‘spill’ at the school. ‘spill’ at Martha Taluruk. Now this!?! Tens of millions in cleanup costs. That’s a lot of people’s needs not being met. That’s a lot of new homes! That’s a lot of food security. That’s a lot of…
    Why are so many things reactive. There needs to be a vision of the bigger picture through the lens of IQ. Proactive!


  11. Posted by trapper Don on

    Why so close to your LIFE GIVING WATER SUPPLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Posted by larry on

    What about the fuel spill at prince river,on the ice is this part of it,when will it be cleaned up,spring fishing has started

    • Posted by Inuk on

      That is a different spill from Challenger/Bombardier. they are both totally different spill.

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