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Iqaluit is investigating after an ‘influx of concerns’ that the city’s water smells like fuel again

The City of Iqaluit says it thinks there is still fuel to eliminate from its water supply.

The city issued a public service announcement on Friday after receiving “an influx of public concerns” beginning Thursday night about its fuel-smelling drinking water.

In an email, city spokeswoman Stephanie Clark confirmed that the city had received more than 20 complaints since Thursday evening.

The city is asking residents to remove aerators from their faucets and run cold water for 20 minutes as soon as possible, before 6 p.m. ET tonight.

In the public service announcement, the city said it had enlisted engineers and other experts to “immediately investigate and help address this issue.”

“At this time, it is believed that potential remaining hydrocarbons may have entered the water supply and need to be flushed from the distribution system,” the city wrote.

“The city is proactively opening distribution valves to promote local flushing of water.”

‘Traces’ of hydrocarbons

The city said it had not measured excessively high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons at its water treatment plant, but was continuing to search for hydrocarbons. The announcement also said this week’s data shows small amounts of hydrocarbons.

“An initial review of real-time monitoring station data indicates that a trace amount of hydrocarbons entered the distribution system on Monday and Wednesday of this week,” he said.

The city has also increased its weekly lab sampling efforts.

Residents wishing to report fuel odor concerns are asked to call the Water Quality Hotline at 867-979-5603.

It has been five weeks since health officials in Nunavut lifted a restraining order for Iqaluit water.

Officials initially told residents not to drink tap water on Oct. 12 after complaints poured in about the smell of fuel in the water.

Iqaluit’s 8,000 residents spent two months drinking water from the Sylvia Grinnell River or bottled water flown in from the city instead of tap water.