Tap water in Inuvik is generally off-colour, but for those who don't mind a yellowy tinge and a slight taste, it is usually safe to drink straight from the taps. Even so, most people (including myself) use a Brita filter before drinking from the tap, and some only use bottled water, which you can have delivered to your house for a fee.
But that has now changed, and until the advisory is lifted, I am drinking only bottled water, and only brushing my teeth with filtered water that has been boiled for over 1 minute (which means bringing it to the boil 3 times).
Exciting times in the North! Hopefully our tap water will be safe to drink soon.
In addition to the impact on drinking water, the dirty water unfortunately makes your toilet bowl look like either you forgot to flush or haven't cleaned your toilet in a month (see photo). And I know some (picky) people who refuse to draw baths because the water is so unappealing, but I figure with enough bubble-bath and purple bath salts, I can rough it in the North and handle the discoloration.
I will also include below a media clipping from the local paper, the Inuvik Drum - http://nnsl.com/northern-news-services/stories/papers/jul19_12bil.html. According to the paper: "The boil water advisory issued last Friday dragged on into this week, leaving store shelves empty of bottled water because most retailers could not restock due to the ferry closure."
Never a dull moment.