E. coli detected in Sanikiluaq water, boil water advisory in place

2nd water advisory for the Nunavut community this summer

originally posted on August 22, 2016


People in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, are being warned about their tap water for the second time this summer.

Health officials say they’ve detected E. coli in two locations in the Nunavut hamlet.

Earlier this summer, every home in Sanikiluaq was outfitted with a reverse osmosis filtration system because of high levels of sodium in the community’s water.

Now residents are being advised to boil the water from their filtration systems for a full minute before drinking or cooking with it. They’ve been advised not to drink water from regular taps even when boiled, due to the high sodium levels.

All water must also be boiled before:

  • preparing infant formulas;
  • preparing juices and ice cubes;
  • washing fruits and vegetables;
  • brushing teeth.

E. coli refers to a large group of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. Most strains of E. coli are harmless, but some types can make people sick with severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

The territory has still not said why sodium levels were so high. The health department said it’s investigating both issues and conducting water tests.

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