IQALUIT, NUNAVUT – Iqaluit residents can get a break on their water bills as they continue to deal with fuel contamination preventing them from drinking their tap water.

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Mayor Kenny Bell said in a social media post that he asked city employees to “request for a decision” on the water waiver ahead of an upcoming Tuesday council meeting.

Bell posted the response on Saturday, calling for a full discount for the month of October for customers receiving water through city pipes, as well as for customers receiving water from trucks.

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It says it is making the recommendation because the city was unable to provide potable water for homes and businesses for a long time, and the flushing of the pipes would require people to use the extra water.

The document notes the disadvantages of this consideration, which include lost revenue of $965,677 for the month, and that it could raise hopes for future interruptions of the city’s services.

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Iqaluit’s 8,000 residents have not been able to consume contaminated tap water for nearly two weeks after the fuel was found in samples, and Bell has said the military is bringing a mobile treatment plant similar to those used in disaster areas such as Haiti. has been

The document shows the city submits an application to compensate for lost revenue under the Nunavut government’s Municipal Request Assistance Program.

Residents of Iqaluit reported the smell of fuel in their water as early as October 2. On October 12, workers opened a tank at the city’s water treatment facility and smelled the fuel. The tests later came back positive for a high concentration of fuel in that tank.

The city has abandoned the contaminated tank, but it is still in the process of removing the contaminated water from its system and requires residents to clean their homes’ water tanks.

The flushing is expected to continue until at least next week. It is still unclear how the fuel got into the tank.

In a tweet on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had spoken with Nunavut Premier Joe Swikataq and that the military would be deployed to Iqaluit to coordinate and distribute clean drinking water.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 23, 2021.