Many smaller communities depend primarily on water trucks to deliver clean water to home. So when the trucks break down, it becomes hard and even a crisis.
That was the case for Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, in northern Quebec, where recently, all three water trucks broke down and were in disrepair for nearly three weeks.
“It was a difficult thing because all the water trucks were broken plus all the parts were being backordered from the company we ordered parts from,” said Mayor David Annanack, adding that COVID-19 was as well causing an issue at the factories where they get parts.
However, with the assistance of some pick up trucks, Annanack said the community – with a population a bit over 1,000 and around 300 houses that need water delivery – was able to manage.
“It was very slow but we managed to give some houses some water,” he said.
The community usually has two water trucks in operation, and three altogether, he said. The trucks for water and sewage run 24/7.
“Eventually, they break down,” he said.
To keep the water flowing, he said people with pickup trucks started collecting water from the local reservoir and hauling water to peoples’ homes “by themselves,” with the assistance of a water pump.
“It’s a very tiring job,” he said.
Whereas the water trucks are now repaired, Annanack said he would like for the community to receive water and sewage trucks that are made for northern communities, and for there to be spare trucks available in communities that depend on them.
“When we are in a very isolated place, during winter especially, there’s no way to get a new water truck,” he said.