Arsenic in Lake Water Around Yellowknife

News Type: 
Advisories

YELLOWKNIFE (April 28, 2016) 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 recent studies to assist with the health advice which depends on the levels of arsenic found in the water. 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 28, 2016)


(Click here for larger map)

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. 

For more information contact:

Damien Healy
Manager Communications
Health and Social Services
(867) 767-9052 ext. 49034