Multi-Tank Bypass Put In Operation

January 19, 2022

Multi-Tank Bypass Put In Operation 

January 19, 2022- Iqaluit, Nunavut


The City of Iqaluit together with the Department of Health would like to advise residents of Iqaluit that as of 4:00 PM on January 19, 2022, the City will be putting the multi-tank bypass into operation. As a result, residents are advised to boil all water prior to consumption, cooking and brushing their teeth.

  • The water will still be treated using UV and chlorine disinfection but it may smell and taste different than the usually treated water and may have slight discolouration.
  • Some sediment may accumulate in household water tanks.   
  • The decision to move to the multi-tank bypass is following the detection by the water quality monitoring station of trace amounts of petroleum hydrocarbons entering a treated water tank.
  • The ongoing remediation of the water treatment plant will continue.  
  • The River Water Depot will continue at the Elders Qammaq until Friday, January 21st Residents may pick up water from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM daily.  It is also advised that river water be boiled prior to consumption. Brita filters will be available until they are gone.

The decision to move the City’s water through the multi-tank bypass is a precautionary measure after a potential contamination of hydrocarbons (connected to the ongoing issue) was detected on Wednesday, January 19.

The switch to the multi-tank bypass is part of the pre-established process to respond to potential contamination events.  This bypass is a pipe that allows raw water from Lake Geraldine to avoid contact with all concrete tanks in the Water Treatment Plant.

Raw water from Lake Geraldine is screened and undergoes UV and chlorine disinfection, however, the water is not filtered through the normal Water Treatment Processes.  Residents may experience odours and tastes in their water that they are not used to, or notice slight discoloration or sediment in the water, similar to drinking straight from a lake or similar body of water. While chlorine disinfection will still occur, a precautionary boil water advisory is recommended. 

The City of Iqaluit is also continuing to flush the system to remove potential hydrocarbons. While the multi-tank bypass is in place, it will allow for continued remediation of the Water Treatment Plant tanks that are only able to be accessed when not being used as part of the water treatment process.

Updates about this and the ongoing issues are available on the City of Iqaluit Water Facts web page at:

For additional information contact:

Geoff Byrne A/Communications and Customer Service Manager