Iqaluit’s water treatment plant cleared to come back online

Plant has been offline since fuel was discovered in city’s water supply 18 months ago

Iqaluit’s water treatment plant is scheduled to be back online April 25. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The City of Iqaluit’s water treatment plant has approval to return to service.

The municipality needed the go-ahead from Dr. Sean Wachtel, the territory’s chief public health officer, said city spokesperson Kent Driscoll in an email.

This comes after more than a year spent cleaning fuel contamination from the plant.

Fuel was found in Iqaluit’s treated water supply from two separate sources in October 2021 and January 2022.

The first contamination was caused by a leaky 60-year-old fuel drum buried nearby the plant.

The second occurred on Dec. 16, 2021 — six days after the city’s water had been deemed safe to drink again. It was found to come from black tar that had become exposed inside one of the water tanks.

Wachtel’s approval to return the plant to service came March 30, said Driscoll. The city had to show the GN its plan for transitioning its water treatment process back to the plant from a bypass system that was installed in November 2021.

The plan includes demonstrating clean water test results and disinfecting tanks.

The city plans to return the plant to service April 25.

The process could cause water interruptions and a boil water advisory that could last a week, said Driscoll in the public service announcement.

“Due to the amount of tests that will be conducted this precautionary boil water order will last longer than usual,” it reads.

The city will be testing for bacteria, chlorine levels and hydrocarbons at the water treatment plant and elsewhere.

The Nunavut Health Department did not immediately respond to Nunatsiaq News’s request for comment.


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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northener on

    Class action lawsuit! Where do i sign.

    • Posted by 180 on

      The City is broke, a CAL will get you nothing other than more headaches.

  2. Posted by Source on

    Was the source of the contamination not outside the tank the second time around and didn’t it travel in the tank by capillary action? I do not remember a reference to tar inside the tank being mentioned publicly.

  3. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    everyone please check for a smell, before you take a swig.

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