The mayoress of Longueuil promises to tackle the poor record of her city’s wastewater treatment network, classified as the worst in Quebec, according to a list of the Fondation Rivières published this week.
“The situation is serious and actions must be taken to remedy it,” writes Sylvie Parent in a statement sent to The Canadian Press by her office, in which she specifies that it is simply “not acceptable” that “The agglomeration” has such a record.
The analysis reveals that Longueuil obtains a spill intensity index nearly four times greater than Laval, the second municipality on the list. Longueuil also ranks first in the list of large cities in order of intensity of spills per capita.
Since the Longueuil sewerage network serves Boucherville, Brossard and Saint-Lambert, some of the overflowing structures – kinds of dikes – are possibly located on the territory of these municipalities.
In order to correct the problem, Longueuil wishes to add two retention basins in the sectors of the network where the majority of overflows take place. The City affirms that it is an element of the overflow management plan that it submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change.
The mayoress also indicated that her Water strategy plans that $ 300 million will be invested to bring the city’s water treatment center up to standard and implement the Overflow Management Plan.
At the time of publication, it was still not clear when the problem will be resolved or if the sum has been budgeted or if it will be claimed in Quebec, the mayoress having refused to grant us an interview.
On the day of publication of the prize list, his press officer had nevertheless indicated that this could be the case once the data from the Fondation Rivières have been analyzed, believing that it is necessary to “do things in order”.
No less than 60,660 spills took place in Quebec in 2019 according to the Fondation Rivières. They occur most of the time after heavy rains.
Each time, feces, but also cigarette butts, sheets of paper, tampons, wipes and a host of other solids that do not decompose, are dumped into rivers, lakes or, in the case from Longueuil, the river.
The performance of wastewater infrastructure must be improved, said the office of the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change Benoit Charette.
It is incumbent on municipalities that their networks are up to standard, his office insisted in a message sent to The Canadian Press, adding that various programs exist for the renewal of water pipes.
Text by Michel Saba, Local Journalism Initiative, The Canadian Press