Inuvik boil water advisory partially due to water plant repairs, says town

The territorial government said residents shouldn't drink water that hasn't been boiled for at least one minute.

No illnesses reported; territorial gov't says it's precautionary

The territorial government said the boil water advisory is a result of high water levels in the river causing turbidity. (CBC)

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  • The territorial government advised on July 18 that the boil water advisory has been lifted.

The N.W.T. government and the town of Inuvik are advising people in the community to boil their drinking water for at least one minute before consumption.

No illnesses have been reported, and the boil water advisory is precautionary.

A Department of Health news release states the boil water advisory is in relation to high turbidity levels in the river, or muddy water. The turbidity is caused by high water levels.

However, Inuvik Mayor Jim McDonald says there are actually two reasons: the water levels, and a problem at the water treatment plant.

'Hopefully we will be back to normal here by early next week,' says Inuvik Mayor Jim McDonald. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

McDonald says there was an issue with the plant's polymer pump, which operates to reduce the turbidity in the water.

"It was a minor repair," he said. "That was taken care of, and hopefully we will be back to normal here by early next week. Certainly, [residents] don't need to be concerned about bacteria in the water. It was the turbidity."

The water quality is being monitored by the chief environmental health officer and the Town of Inuvik.

The news release also advises residents to boil water used for ice, preparing food, and dental hygiene. The release emphasizes the need to boil water used to prepare infant formulas.

Residents are advised not to drink water from public fountains.

The release said that Brita filters are not a safe option for water treatment. Rather, residents can use bottled water.

Inuvik's $19 million water plant opened two years ago. McDonald says the defective pump is the first issue they've had.

Both grocery stores in Inuvik were sold out of water jugs as of Thursday evening. 

The release said residents can shower, bathe, and wash using tap water, if they do not swallow any water.

With files from Mackenzie Scott

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