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Don't waste a drop: Iqaluit will use old pool water for construction, dust control

With a water emergency in Iqaluit, the city doesn't want to see one drop go to waste. That's why it's using pool water for construction and other city projects.

Due to water emergency, Iqaluit will recycle pool water for cleaning roads

With a water emergency in Iqaluit, the city doesn't want to see one drop go to waste. That's why it's using pool water from the Iqaluit Aquatic Centre for construction and other city projects. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

With water in short supply in Iqaluit, the city is keen not to waste a drop. 

That's why when it refills the 800,000 litres of water in the pool, it's going to put the old water to good use.

The Iqaluit Aquatic Centre needs to be drained annually and the city is using the water for construction, spraying the roads to suppress dust, and clearing pipes.

The city of Iqaluit declared a water emergency earlier this month — its second in two years. Lake Geraldine, the reservoir for the city's potable water, is at a historic low due to a lack of precipitation, a growing population, and infrastructure issues.

The pool is on a "closed loop system," meaning the same water is recycled throughout the year, according to Stephanie Clark, acting director of recreation for the city of Iqaluit.  

Since the aquatic centre opened in 2017, this is the first year the pool has been fully drained. It needs to be drained annually because the water becomes oversaturated with chemicals. 

"People have asked if we could use the water for other things like car washes but there is so much calcium in it, it would just make white streaks over everything," said Clark. 

Draining the pool also allows the facility to do maintenance on the bottom that they couldn't do otherwise. 

Any excess water from the pool will be stored in holding tanks across city facilities, a spokesperson said.

CBC asked the city how much water it will be saving by using the pool water but it did not give that figure.

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