Nunavut Post

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Iqaluit water crisis is already in its second month

Iqaluit water crisis

The mayor has called a special council meeting for November 15 since the water is still considered dangerous to drink.

Mayor Kenny Bell has called a particular council meeting for Monday to “provide a timeline of events and test results on the water problem to the public” as Iqaluit’s water emergency enters its second month.

Even though city employees began hearing complaints about the strong smell on October 2, it wasn’t until October 12 that the council declared a local state of emergency. The Nunavut Health Department issued a “do-not-consume” order on municipal water.

Since then, the 8,300 residents of Iqaluit have had to depend on bottled water, city-run filling stations, or collecting their water from the Sylvia Grinnell River. On Tuesday, the city and GN both extended their state of emergency orders.

Chief administrative officer Amy Elgersma announced at an emergency council meeting on November 2 that the city has submitted a report to Nunavut’s Health Department verifying that the city’s treated water meets Canadian guidelines for clean water.

The Nunavut government has hired a team of a third party to review the city’s report.

The third-party will also guidance a site investigation and risk assessment at the water treatment plant. Where it is now assumed that a past diesel fuel leak infiltrated a water tank.

“Once the investigation is completed, the chief public health officer will be able to examine if the do-not-consume order may be canceled or should remain in place until more issues were addressed,” Elgersma informed the council.

The Health Department of Nunavut has the entire decision on whether or not to remove the do-not-consume order placed on Iqaluit’s municipal drinking water on October 12.

The water filtration system set up on the bank of the Sylvia Grinnell River is set to run until November 17. Still, the Canadian Armed Forces have a contingency plan in place to keep it running for additional two weeks.

Source; Nunatsiaq news

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