NEWS

Organisms in Igloolik drinking water could be leeches or flukes

06/19/2015 07:23 EDT | Updated 06/19/2016 05:59 EDT
There are two possible theories so far on the identity of the organisms that some Igloolik, Nunavut, residents found in their sinks earlier this week.

Igloolik Senior Adminstrative Officer Brian Fleming says the creatures may have entered the water supply when they were taking water from Fish Lake to fill the town's reservoir.

"What we were doing is the water trucks were just going in, drawing, filling up and coming back to town and emptying into the reservoir, and when we did that there was no screen or filter or anything on the hose."

He says they could be a small marine parasite called a fluke, which likely came from from Fish Lake. He says the marine fluke is not known to be harmful to humans but can affect fish. 

A Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokesperson says the mystery creature may be "a freshwater leech of the Family Glossiphoniidaea," but that is just from looking at the photos. DFO says it can't give a definitive answer unless they get a specimen to examine.

Igloolik remains under a boil water advisory. All water must be brought to a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute before being used for:

- drinking

- preparing infant formulas

- preparing juices and ice cubes

- washing fruits and vegetables

- cooking

- brushing of teeth

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