Update: Iqaluit says trace amounts of fuel detected in water supply

Taps back on

A water truck fills up in Iqaluit during the do not consume order. Photo: Kent Driscoll/APTN.

The City of Iqaluit says trace amounts of fuel have been detected in the Nunavut capital’s water supply.

The city says an initial review of data from its real-time monitoring station indicates fuel entered the water on Monday and Wednesday.

It says there have been no measurements above low-alarm thresholds, but the city is proactively opening distribution valves to flush the water.

The city had already confirmed it was investigating after residents complained they could smell fuel in their tap water again.

The city says in a release that it believes there may have been leftover hydrocarbons that got into the water supply again.

A post about the smell appeared in the Facebook group Iqaluit Public Service Announcements Thursday night.

It had garnered more than 50 comments as of Friday morning, including several people reporting the same thing.

The City of Iqaluit has just come out of a two-month water emergency after its 8,000 residents were told to stop drinking their tap water in October because of fuel contamination at the water treatment plant. That advisory was lifted on Dec. 10.

On Jan. 6, the city announced the water monitoring station at the water treatment plant detected measurable amounts of hydrocarbons in one of the city’s treated water tanks on Dec. 16.

The announcement said the discovery led to a “brief shutdown” of the plant, and staff determined the contamination was due to maintenance.

No detectable levels of fuel were found in the city’s water distribution system after this incident, states the release.

David Venn  – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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