Yellowknife will turn down lights at water treatment plant

Last modified: August 28, 2018 at 7:58am

The lights on Yellowknife’s water treatment plant are set to be dimmed at night.

Staff at City Hall acknowledge the plant, currently bathed in messianic light after dark, may not need all of its security lighting round-the-clock.

“It’s something I’ve steadily received complaints about over the years,” Councillor Julian Morse said during Monday evening’s council meeting.


“The City is pursuing the Smart Cities Challenge [which features a bid to install automatically dimming streetlights] and part of that is to try to make Yellowknife more of a dark-sky community. I know this facility causes quite a bit of light pollution.”

The treatment plant opened on Yellowknife’s Tin Can Hill, overlooking the School Draw Avenue residential neighbourhood, in 2015. Its lights are bright enough at night to form an impromptu lighthouse for errant canoes.

Senior City staff say they discussed the issue last week and will take action.

“It’s definitely something that’s been brought to our attention. As you know, it sticks out quite well on the hill,” said Chris Greencorn, the City’s director of public works and engineering.

Security lights on the School Draw Avenue side of Yellowknife's water treatment plant
Security lights on the School Draw Avenue side of Yellowknife’s water treatment plant. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

“The reason it was designed and constructed that way was to establish a secure presence on the hill. We believe we can do that with other methods,” he continued.


“We’re going to see if we can at the very least either disconnect or alter the perimeter lighting on the lake side and, I would guess, School Draw side, and maybe just keep the lighting around the main doors.”

Greencorn said the City would look at making those changes before the ceaseless night of winter rolls in.