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Case Study #4

Cape Dorset, Nunavut


This project, which involves installation of wastewater reuse systems in five existing multi-family homes in the Inuit community of Cape Dorset, was initiated by the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC), prior to the creation of Nunavut on April 1,1999. The Nunavut government has agreed to fund the installation of the wastewater reuse systems, which are already onsite.

Each building includes three or four family units, for a total of seventeen units. Grey water and black water from each building is treated and reused for toilet flushing and laundry uses. The systems are designed to treat 1,000 L/day from each unit.


This project is intended to:

  • reduce the demand for trucked water, and make more water available for all household uses,
  • reduce the costs of truck haulage of potable water and wastewater, and
  • demonstrate the application of wastewater recycling in the North, in conjunction with truck haul systems.

Description of Technology

The five wastewater renovation systems are based on the technology developed for the Toronto Healthy House. Each system includes a specially designed septic tank, biofilter, roughing and slow-sand filtration, and ozonation. Renovated wastewater in each building is discharged into the existing wastewater storage tank, from which it is pumped to the treatment system, treated and then pumped to individual units. Excess wastewater is removed from the tank by the community's truck haul system

Operation and maintenance responsibilities have yet to be finalised, and monitoring requirements of the Nunavut authorities have not been agreed upon.


The total cost the system in each multi-unit building including purchase and shipping of the treatment system, plumbing changes to accommodate the system, and installation is $45,200. Estimated annual operation and maintenance costs are $1,125 for each building. Monitoring costs are not available.


Anticipated benefits of this project are:

  • significant reductions in the demand for potable water,
  • availability of more water for non-potable household uses such as clothes washing,
  • savings of nearly $12,000 per year per building in the cost of trucked water, and reduced cost for truck haulage of wastewater,
  • demonstration of a technology that has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of residential water and wastewater services in northern communities that are served by truck haul systems.

Creative Communities Research Inc.
152 Sparkhall Ave.

Toronto, Ont. M4K 1G8

Phone: (416) 466-5172

Fax: (416) 466-5173

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