Iqaluit to look at backup options for Apex water pumping station
City to pay $20,000 for Nunami Stantec to explore Unnamed Lake as possible backup pumping station
Iqaluit’s city council wants a local engineering company to look at options to supplement the city’s water supply toward the end of the summer season.
At its meeting Tuesday, council voted to spend $20,000 to have Nunami Stantec Ltd. look at backup options for the Apex water pumping station. One possibility is to use Unnamed Lake, also known as Qikiqtalik Lake.
The current station pumps water from Apex River to the city’s water reservoir, Lake Geraldine.
“In the past years, we’ve noticed that towards the end of the pumping season around August or September, the water levels of the [Apex] river dropped significantly low,” said Tamilore Adeleke, the city’s acting director of engineering and capital planning.
Citing an example from last year, she said the city had to ask the Nunavut Water Board for an amendment to its water licence so the city could pump from Unnamed Lake because of low water levels. In the end, enough rain came so additional water pumping was not necessary.
The city also went through this process in 2019.
Adeleke said that having a contingency plan helps “make sure that everything is aligned and in place.”
“If we do have to take that extra step, we [won’t be] scrambling,” she said.
Stantec will study what is needed to create a backup pumping station at Unnamed Lake, including licensing, amendments, and equipment such as pumps or generators.
The city is looking for approval now in order to reduce the risk of missing the summer window to procure pumping equipment in 2024. If that window is missed, equipment may need to be delivered through air travel at a higher cost, according to the proposal.
The City of Iqaluit is also set to embark on a multimillion-dollar upgrade to its water system, thanks to federal funding that was announced in April 2022. Part of that project includes a second reservoir.