Inuvik water now ‘crystal clear’ thanks to new treatment plant

A file photo from inside Inuvik's water treatment plant, which was completed in 2017. Photo courtesy: Simpson Industrial Services.)
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After years in the works, a new water treatment plant has finally been turned over to the Town of Inuvik.

The $19 million project’s completion was announced Wednesday. Even though the plant has been operational since November, the town only officially took it over Wednesday.

The project, one of the largest infrastructure projects taken on by the community, has been in the works since 2013.

“[A new water treatment plant] was, I would say, severely needed,” said Grant Hood, senior administrative officer with the Town of Inuvik.

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“Our old infrastructure, parts of it was over 60 years old and we were having to get water from two different sources depending on the time of the year.”

Previously, Inuvik had been getting its water from two sources – out of Hidden Lake in the summer and from the Mackenzie River in the winter.

“With this new plant we’ll be able to take year-round from the same source right from the east trail,” Hood said.

“The completion of the water treatment plant is a major accomplishment for the Town of Inuvik to ensure that the community has a safe reliable source of water for residents over the next 40 years,” added Inuvik Mayor Jim McDonald.

“It is one of the most important investments that we could make to ensure a stable future for our community and improve the quality of life for our residents.

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With the new water treatment plant comes improvements in the water quality. For Hood, it’s most noticeable in the taste.

“At times of the year here [the water] would have a little bit of a brown tinge to it just because of the nature of where we were getting the water,” he said.

“I mean it was safe, but now it is crystal clear and will be like that all year-round.”

Hood says the town also has a $10 million project in the works to upgrade its main sewer line, which has also been in place for some 60 years.

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