Clean water — We cannot live without it, but too often we take it for granted.
We know that it is essential for life on our planet. We know that without it we cannot sustain the agriculture that feeds us. We know that we cook and clean with it.
But we also are too comfortable with the knowledge that clean water is only a turn of the tap away.
It is a big assumption. The hazards of tainted water can be extreme, causing illness or even death.
In the Canadian Far North, off the northwestern shore of Hudson Bay in the territory of Nunavut, lies a mining community of approximately 1,800 people. It sits at the end of a freshwater lake, from which it draws water to be treated at a local plant. As with any community, this water is vital: It supplies the water for the drinking fountains of local schools, supplies the hospital with a safe and reliable water source, fills the community pool and serves the homes of the town.
The continuous operation of this plant is necessary for the safety and health of the community.
In September 2016, the computer in the treatment plant crashed. Without the operating system running, every system in the plant stopped working.
The original supplier of the control panel was unable to address the situation.
As the clock ticked, the supply of available water for local residents was draining. The territorial government worked with partner BluMetric Environmental, a water, earth and energy company that addresses complex environmental issues in more than 60 countries, to contract Tulsar Canada to fix the problem.
Timing was of utmost importance, and within 24 hours of receiving the call and being briefed on the situation, a team of engineers from Tulsar’s Kitchener, Ontario, headquarters had gathered up the parts they thought they would need, began brainstorming possible solutions for hardware and software issues that may be causing the problem, and were on a flight north to one of the most remote settlements on the continent.
Almost immediately after landing and arriving at the treatment plant, the engineers had assessed the root of the problem and began implementing the fix. Faulty parts in the control panel were replaced, and the entire system was rebooted. The fix then was tested to ensure the problem was resolved.
With the problem addressed and safeguards installed to further protect the integrity of the system, the water plant was back up and running without any major interruptions in service — or threats to health and safety — for local residents.
Posted on 12 January 2017
The complete original article was posted on 09 January 2017 and is available here: