Nunavut Post

Water and sewage issues test lives in Edzo as families wait for alleviation


Key takeaways: 

  • ‘It was so awful’: citizens scared to consume water, homes flooded with sewage.
  • Since late January, Kelsey Mantla has been one of some individuals managing with brown water or no water at all. 
  • Behchoko Chief Clifford Daniels tells his neighborhood’s water and sewer infrastructure is losing apart.

Water sewage problems in NWT constitute a significant problem for citizens: 

Kelsey Mantla is still scared to consume her tap water in Edzo, N.W.T., where water and sewer letdowns have troubled citizens for weeks. Brown water has flowed from the taps, and underground pipes have exploded, causing some neighborhood members to depend on neighbors and family for essential sanitation.

“We couldn’t use the bathroom or anything. My children would cry, and the house stunk,” stated Mantla, whose home was flooded by a backed-up sewer.

On Jan. 21, a water pump failed in the 200-person Tłı̨chǫ neighborhood of Edzo, and multiple buried lines burst, taking out some citizens’ water for a month. Mantla stays in one of approximately 50 residences that had no water, or brown water, as a consequence. 

Raw sewage backed up out of Mantla’s restroom and bathtub and ran under her floorboards, which she must now substitute.

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Edzo resident frustrated from the water and sewage issues

“We saw that our bathtub and toilet began flooding, and whatever we flushed through the toilet came up.”

“I attempted to dig it to make it lower, but it kept rising and rising,” stated Mantla, indicating to places of her bathroom, living room, and kitchen that were flooded by the sewer back up.

“It was so disgusting. It was frustrating. I couldn’t even concentrate,” she stated.

Mantla, a mom of four, says even with the water back on, she and her spouse will not consume, bathe or cook with their tap water. 

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