CANADA – Nunatsiaq News: Iqaluit Water Emergency Hot Topics = Oct 24 2021

Nunatsiaq News: Iqaluit Water Emergency Hot Topics

Posted By: RobertS
Date: Sunday, 24-Oct-2021 19:34:05

OCT 22, 2021 Military on its way to Iqaluit for water emergency
The Government of Nunavut requested military assistance for the city’s water crisis The Canadian Armed Forces will be deployed in Iqaluit to help provide residents with clean drinking water. Early reports indicate the military will be setting up a temporary water treatment plant to help the Nunavut capital, where 8,000 residents were told 10 days ago to stop drinking tap water from the municipal water system. “It’s a little too early to say what they’re going to do,” Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell said during a press conference Friday afternoon. But Bell said he talked earlier in the day with a military officer, who said the Canadian Forces had begun an assessment of where the military could set up a water treatment plant. Between three and five military personnel flew in Friday to “hit the ground running,” the mayor said. News the military will be deployed in Iqaluit came Friday afternoon in tweets by federal emergency preparedness minister Bill Blair, and then Canadian Armed Forces. “We are currently working with federal and territorial partners to finalize the details on our support to the people of Iqaluit,” Captain Bonnie Wilken said in an email to Nunatsiaq News.
Comment posted by wow on Oct 22, 2021
“Can we speculate from this non-announcement that the water problem WILL NOT be fixed with the “flushing” as promised by City officials? Time to book a plane ticket, I’m working from Ottawa and the GN will have to get over it since you can’t live here like this.”

OCT 22, 2021 Nunavut’s chief public health officer defends response to Iqaluit water crisis
‘We have to be very careful when we put out messages that affect the entire community to this degree,’ says Dr. Michael Patterson
Patterson said it wouldn’t have been appropriate or justified to tell residents, as a precaution, not to drink their tap water, while public health officials waited days to get results back about whether it was, in fact, safe to drink. “We have to be very careful when we put out messages that affect the entire community to this degree,” Patterson said, adding it was important to get the information translated into all four languages before circulating it. Comment posted by Still here on Oct 22, 2021 “Do you see how these people are protecting each other and themselves with petty excuses, they have not tested enough households taps to make a determination that the water does not have benzene, why would patterson say this, these people are digging the whole worse for themselves, just admit that decisions could have been better and that you will be more diligent from this point forward, if i have these excuses my manager would have my $&@, Patterson you are a Doctor not a molecular scientist or chemical engineer, pull this guy away now, did he not say in one report that home heating fuel and kerosene do not have benzene, do some research , both petroleum products do have benzene, what are the longterm side affects from this problem, it’s leukaemia! Use your brain and research , we are not being told the full truth,” Comment posted by Water guy on Oct 22, 2021
“Seems like someone(s) taking cover.
Dr.Patterson, public health errs on the side of caution on daily basis with boil water advisories. There may not be any harmful bugs(bacteria, viruses) in the water but an advisory is called anyway to be on the safe side without knowing if they are their or not. In this case you had strong support leaning towards very harmful chemicals in the water and you did not respond accordingly. That being said your strong work on Covid may have residents giving you a pass. I suggest next time a different approach, also you may want to travel to the Walkerton Centre for training.” “Ms.Elgersma, there are field test that do indicate a presence of hydrocarbon, and take a day to 3 days for the results. I’m sure that your are a good CAO, but that does not give you the knowledge to speak of these issues and you should begin work on hiring the proper staff ASAP to deal with these issues. Mayor Bell, get off twitter and stop embarrassing yourself and Iqaluit.”

OCT 20, 2021 – 6:12 PM EDT Flushing Iqaluit’s water pipes will take longer than expected, city says
The City of Iqaluit has extended its previous estimate of when its pipes will be flushed of contaminated water, and says residents may experience a harsher smell of petroleum through their taps than before.

OCT 20, 2021 – 9:30 AM EDT City took a gamble with Iqaluit’s water supply
As officials worked to find the source of a reported fuel odour, why wasn’t there a warning the water might be contaminated?
“Well, at least it isn’t benzene. That was a bit of a silver lining to come out of the City of Iqaluit and Nunavut government’s joint news conference Oct. 15 confirming Iqaluit’s water supply is contaminated with fuel. Benzene is a hydrocarbon with well-documented links to a variety of cancers in humans, so people drinking tap water in Iqaluit earlier this month are fortunate to not have to worry about that. But what were people drinking in their tap water? The culprit is most likely diesel or kerosene, says Nunavut’s chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson.” Comment posted by Benzene on Oct 20, 2021
But benzene is found in diesel.
And since the water actually made people sick, with headaches and stomach issues reported, then maybe people should be concerned with how everyone was told the water was fine by non-experts who don’t understand science.

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