Rankin Inlet residents asked to avoid Nuvuk lift station, waterfront after sewage spill

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The Kivalliq Health Centre in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. People in the community are asked to steer clear of the waterfront and the area around the Nuvuk lift station across from the health centre after a sewage spill.   (Jordan Konek/CBC - image credit)
The Kivalliq Health Centre in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. People in the community are asked to steer clear of the waterfront and the area around the Nuvuk lift station across from the health centre after a sewage spill. (Jordan Konek/CBC - image credit)

People in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, are asked to steer clear of the waterfront and the area around the Nuvuk lift station across from the health centre after a sewage spill.

"Sewage and wastewater can contain bacteria, fungus and viruses that can cause many illnesses," reads a news release from the territory's Departments of Health and Community and Government Services (CGS).

"Coming into contact with or breathing in odours from sewage can expose a person to bacteria, viruses and parasites that are harmful to health and may cause disease."

Darren Flynn, the hamlet's senior administrative officer, said the hamlet had little information about the spill other than what he learned in a courtesy call from CGS.

The blockage took place about 5 or 6 p.m. Monday, Flynn said, "and they managed to get it cleaned out."

But there was construction going on at the site and a higher-than-normal tide may have contributed to the spill, Flynn suggested.

CGS did not tell him the volume of the small spill, but a municipal staff worker said there was "no evidence of toilet paper or anything washing up."

The area is not used for harvesting mussels, Flynn said.

Rankin Inlet relies on a utilidor system of above-ground sewage pipes "almost 100 per cent," Flynn said.