Underground fuel spill found next to Iqaluit's water treatment plant

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — The City of Iqaluit says an old underground spill is likely responsible for fuel that is contaminating the community's tap water.

City officials said in a news release Tuesday that they found signs of a historic spill next to the water treatment plant in an inaccessible hole in the ground.

The capital city's water has been undrinkable even if boiled since Oct. 12 when traces of fuel were found in the plant.

The city of about 8,000 people has been under a state of emergency since then and thousands of bottles of water have been flown in.

Testing is now being done to confirm the spill is the source of the contamination.

The city said it has reported the spill to the Nunavut government and hired a professional firm to clean it up. A site remediation plan is also underway.

There is still no timeline for when city residents will be able to drink their tap water again.

The Canadian Armed Forces arrived in Iqaluit last weekend to help with the ongoing emergency.

The military has said it will set up reverse osmosis water purification units in the city but is still in the process of testing water at proposed sites.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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