Stronger fuel odor in water possible as flushing continues in Iqaluit, officials say – .

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Stronger fuel odor in water possible as flushing continues in Iqaluit, officials say – .


Flushing of water lines in Iqaluit continued on Saturday, a day after city officials confirmed the presence of “excessively high concentrations of various fuel components” in one of its two underground water tanks.
“Residents can continue to smell fuel in their water until at least Monday afternoon,” a brief city public service announcement said Saturday afternoon.

“Some residents may even experience stronger odors than before – this is expected during the flushing process. ”

The city said it would provide another update on the status of the flushing process on Monday.

Amy Elgersma, the city’s administrative director, told a press conference on Friday that the flushing of the water distribution system began on Thursday and is expected to continue for another 48 hours.

She said that once this process is completed, residents will be instructed to flush their own household lines for 20 minutes.

Operators at the water treatment plant discovered a concentrated odor in the city’s northern reservoir this week, after residents reported the smell of fuel in tap water for more than a week. The city told residents not to drink tap water on Tuesday, and subsequently declared a local state of emergency.

Authorities said the water could contain diesel or kerosene.

As of Thursday evening, the contaminated tank had been isolated, Elgersma said.

Dr Michael Patterson, chief public health officer for Nunavut, said on Friday that there were no major health problems for those who drank contaminated tap water.

“We need more help”

Stephanie Clark, the city’s recreation manager, said the Government of Nunavut has sent 80,000 liters of bottled water to the community and another 42,000 liters are expected over the coming week.

Agnico Eagle, a mining company with mines in Nunavut, also sent 15,000 liters in bottles for reuse, she said.

“There are a lot of people who don’t have water storage, right now, in their homes,” she said.

Clark said the city is awaiting a delivery of household water filters from Amazon, who called and “offered to support us in any way we need.” The city is also planning to set up a pre-mixed infant formula distribution point which is underway.

But, she added, “we need more help.”

The community needs tangible water, jugs to put it in and safe containers for food, said Clark, and she urges those who wish to donate to contact the water helpline in the area. ‘Iqaluit at 867-979-5603.

“What concerns me is that people just send us stuff… We have to be target specific because that’s a very specific need that we have. “

The city is also setting up a way to coordinate an influx of people in the community who wish to lend a helping hand.

“We are actually sitting down, as a management team, to determine exactly where we are weak, in terms of the resources we need and where we can deploy volunteers in a more focused way,” a- she declared.

Part of how people cope with a crisis, she pointed out, is volunteering.

“We have to remember that this is a crisis and it takes a toll on people’s mental health,” she said. “Part of the way people deal with this… is to offer service and support. ”

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