City councillors voted unanimously Tuesday evening to award a contract to Tower Arctic Ltd. to clean underground water tanks at the city’s water treatment plant that were contaminated with fuel last fall. (Photo by David Venn)David Venn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 27, 2022 at 11:19

By David Venn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The City of Iqaluit has awarded Tower Arctic Ltd. an $800,000 contract to clean three contaminated underground water tanks at the city’s water treatment plant.

City councillors voted unanimously during Tuesday’s council meeting to hire the company to remediate the North and South Clear wells and the mixing chamber at the plant. The tanks were contaminated by fuel last fall and winter.

Tower Arctic Ltd. had the lowest of three bids, the highest coming in at nearly $6 million.

People in Iqaluit were advised not to consume the city’s water between October and December because fuel had contaminated its water supply.

The contamination is believed to have entered the water treatment plant from an old fuel tank.

In December 2021, a second contamination was discovered inside a mixing chamber at the plant. That contamination was caused by black tar-like substance within the chamber’s concrete walls.

The city is still bypassing the water treatment plant and delivering water to homes by truck and piped services.

City of Iqaluit spokesperson Aleksey Cameron did not provide details to Nunatsiaq News about what exactly will be remediated, or when the work will begin.

In May, WSP Canada, the consulting firm hired by the city, recommended the city remove all of the black tar substance from the tanks and install a concrete layer of protection.

This item reprinted with permission from Nunatsiaq News, Iqaluit, Nunavut