Iqaluit declares emergency after gasoline suspected in tap water

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The city of Iqaluit has declared a local emergency after sighting evidence of gasoline in its tap water.

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All residents of Iqalut are being told not to drink, boil or cook with city water.

A statement issued by the Nunavut government said evidence of petroleum hydrocarbons, or fuel chemicals, has been observed in the water. It also states that newborns and infants should not be bathed with tap water.


The city’s chief administrative officer, Amy Algersma, told a council meeting on Tuesday evening that the city was working to fix the issue and tests were being conducted.

“In this case, we suspect there is some sort of petroleum product in the water,” Algersma said.

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The city ran tests last week and said the water was safe to drink after residents complained on social media that their tap water smelled like fuel.

Algarsma said the tap water can still be used for bathing, showering and washing clothes.

The city said an emergency water source is available and residents have been asked to bring their own jugs.

Photos posted on social media on Tuesday showed residents filling jugs of water in Iqaluit’s Sylvia Grinnell River and buying water bottles in bulk at two grocery stores in the city.

The Nunavut government statement said tests are ongoing and results are expected to be returned within five business days.

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