YELLOWKNIFE (April 10, 2017) The NWT Chief Public Health Officer is advising residents of the Northwest Territories about precautions they can take to avoid exposure to elevated arsenic levels found in some small lakes located near the Giant Mine property.
A map has been developed based on available data to assist with the health advice which depends on the levels of arsenic found in the water (see attached). Public health advice is based on available environmental data and may be adjusted as more information becomes available from ongoing or future monitoring or research activities.
Map of Arsenic Concentrations Measured in Water Bodies in the Yellowknife Area (April 10, 2017)
Lakes with green points:
Arsenic levels are below Health Canada’s drinking guidelines. It is recommended not to drink untreated water from any lake. However, these lakes are considered safe for swimming and fishing.
Lakes with yellow points:
Arsenic levels are above Health Canada’s drinking water guidelines; however, occasional exposure does not pose a significant risk for arsenic-related health effects. It is recommended not to drink untreated water from any lake. These lakes are considered safe for swimming and fishing.
Lakes with orange, red or purple points:
Arsenic levels are elevated (52 parts per billion and above). Water should not be consumed from these lakes. It is also recommended to avoid fishing, swimming, and harvesting berries, mushrooms and other edible plants within this zone. However, walking through this area does not pose a health hazard.
- Questions and Answers - Arsenic Levels in Lakes around Yellowknife
- Arsenic in the Environment Around Yellowknife (Brochure)
- Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines (Health Canada)
- Drinking Water Quality Database (Department of Municipal and Community Affairs)
- Drinking Water in the NWT
- Mackenzie Valley Review Board
For more information contact:
Health and Social Services
(867) 767-9052 ext. 49034