On Tuesday, the local government of Iqaluit, Nunavut, advised its residents on social media to avoid drinking the tap water since it is highly likely contaminated with toxic petroleum hydrocarbons. Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell tweeted the public health advisory after several residents reported a “fuel odor” in their home water supply.
Shortly after Mayor Bell’s tweet, the Government of Nunavut released a “Do Not Drink Water Quality Advisory,” instructing the residents of Iqaluit not to use the water from the tap for cooking or drinking, including the water filtered or boiled using commercial filters.
Two water fill stations have also been announced in the advisory, notably the Arctic Winter Games Arena and the Library Water Fill Station, plus a Drinking water hotline set up by the city government.
The Government of Nunavut’s public health advisory informed that while residents may still use the water from the tap for showering, cleaning, or laundry, they should not consume it in any way. The said advisory also directed to avoid using the water in any application aimed at pregnant women, newborns, and infants, such as mixing it with baby formula or baths.
Additionally, the “Do Not Drink Water Quality Advisory” asked the residents to “stay away from the water source at Lake Geraldine.”
Apart from giving out instructions, the public health advisory issued by the Government of Nunavut also informed that “active investigations of the City’s drinking water system and additional testing of the drinking water are ongoing.” It also updated that “observations at the Iqaluit water treatment plant today found evidence of potential hydrocarbons contamination.”
Moreover, Health Canada has already announced that it is expecting additional test results from out of territory laboratories within the next five business days concerning the issue.