South Slave

Boil-water advisory issued for Hay River and nearby communities

A boil-water advisory has been declared for Hay River, Enterprise, Kakisa, and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation.

The NWT’s chief environmental health officer made the announcement on Sunday afternoon, advising all residents of those communities to boil their drinking water for at least one minute.

Muddy water caused by the impact of spring breakup was to blame, the territorial government said.


So far, no associated illnesses have been reported.

Sunday’s advisory marks the return of water problems that beleaguered some South Slave communities for months last year.

An advisory last fall stretched for almost 50 days. In all, Hay River spent more than 100 days of 2020 under a boil-water advisory.

The town is slowly working toward an upgrade of its water treatment facility that experts say will lower the frequency of similar advisories in future.


In October, an NWT government representative told Hay River’s council a new, “modernized” facility would be better-suited to address the water quality needs of the town.

However, the cost of a new water treatment plant and upgraded system was quoted at approximately $15 million, based on similar work elsewhere in the NWT.

Earlier this month, the Town of Hay River was given federal cash to pay for a feasibility study that will “assess the potential construction” of a new water treatment facility and look at other options to improve water treatment in the town.

Full advice for residents regarding the latest boil-water advisory can be found on the GNWT’s website.

All water used for drinking, preparing food, hot and cold beverages and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, and dental hygiene must be boiled.

“This is of particular importance in the case of the preparation of infant formulas,” said the territorial government in Sunday’s news release.

“Do not drink water from public drinking fountains,” that news release continued. “It is not necessary to boil water used for other household purposes. You may shower, bathe or wash using tap water, but avoid swallowing the water.”