Troops on the ground in Iqaluit

Military personnel, equipment arrive on weekend to set up water purification system

Canadian Armed Forces personnel arrive in Iqaluit Sunday — the second of two flights over the weekend— with equipment to set up a water purification system to help with the city’s water emergency. (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Twitter)

By Nunatsiaq News

At least 20 members of the Canadian Armed Forces are on the ground in Iqaluit as part of the response to the city’s water emergency.

Military personnel and equipment arrived on two flights — one on Saturday and another on Sunday, according to the Canadian Armed Forces Operations Twitter account.

On Saturday, the military reported that more than 20 members arrived in Iqaluit to set up a reverse osmosis water purification system “to help residents access clean water,” a tweet stated.

On Sunday afternoon, the military reported a second flight had arrived bringing more equipment to be used for its water purification units.

Mayor Kenny Bell said during a press conference on Friday that a group of about five Canadian Forces personnel had arrived earlier that day to assess where the water purification system could be set up.

The arrival of troops and equipment occurred approximately 24 hours after federal government leaders, the military and Bell announced the military had been called in to help during the water emergency, which began more than three weeks ago.

On Oct. 12, the city and the Government of Nunavut Health Department told Iqalummiut not to drink the tap water from the municipal water supply because it was suspected it had been contaminated with fuel.

That was confirmed publicly on Oct. 15, when the city’s chief administrative officer reported that tests of water samples taken showed “exceedingly high concentrations” of fuel.

The city established filling stations to distribute water it has been taking from the Sylvia Grinnell River and the Government of Nunavut purchased tens of thousands of litres of bottled water to be given out.

Iqaluit city council declared a local state of emergency on Oct. 12, followed by the Government of Nunavut, which made a similar declaration on Oct. 14. The declarations of emergency give the government the authority to mobilize resources to help people affected by the crisis, as well as to protect public health and to protect the city’s infrastructure.

Share This Story

(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by Curious Voter on

    And still no real information.
    Is Lake Geraldine contaminated, yes or no?
    What is the source of the contamination?
    We know that the piped water system has been leaking out water for yers. Is it also leaking water and/or polutants in?
    Why will no one say anything?
    What are they hiding? Why?
    If the current government won’t tell us anything, maybe the next one will.

  2. Posted by nid on

    They are setting up a reverse osmosis system. That is only suitable for very temporary situations. Reverse osmosis is great for removing impurities, but it also removes almost all of the magnesium and calcium in water. It can actually be really bad for your health after just a couple of months of drinking it…it can really aggravate conditions like hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and cause muscle cramping and weakness. The WHO has recognized this. Here is just one article.

    I hope this isn’t yet another time where the short-term fix just kind of rolls into the everyday solution.

  3. Posted by Home owner on

    What if this huge plane brought in a new holding tank or materials to fix the existing one? Would that make too much sense?

    • Posted by Paul on

      I think that would make too much sense, actually bringing in equipment to fix the problem, tanks, utilidor pipes, the military needs to practice and keep their training up to par when they have to go into battlefields and third world countries, this makes sense for them.

  4. Posted by Flash on

    Any photo ops available for mayor bell?

  5. Posted by Northern Guy on

    We should be clear. The reverse osmosis system being implemented by the DART Team will NOT remove the hydrocarbons from the water system. It is designed to make the water that Iqaluit plans to draw from whatever source they identify fully potable with no need for boiling prior to use. This is good news for everyone on truck services as they will once again be able to use their taps but leaves everyone on utilidor out in the cold. What is the plan for them beyond continuing to collect water in buckets every day?

Comments are closed.