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Wastewater dumped indiscriminately: call on the Ministry of the Environment and the cities!

Palmarès et carte des déversements d'eaux usées - Eaux usées déversées - Conduit d'égout - Kevin Andre_Unsplash

Nearly 200 cities discharge their wastewater indiscriminately

Nearly 200 cities and municipalities do not properly measure their discharges, even though it has been mandatory for almost 10 years. The offending municipalities, nearly a third of which are in Montérégie, do not notice a certain number of spills and are unaware of their duration. It is therefore difficult to have an accurate portrait of the spills and to be able to act at the source. What cannot be measured cannot be corrected! For its part, the Ministry of the Environment hardly imposes sanctions.

To encourage cities and municipalities to correctly measure spills and avoid penalizing those who do so, we have adjusted our track record so as to grant a duration of 24 hours to all events occurring from works without a recorder.

This adjustment significantly modified the rank of certain cities and municipalities (see table below), which tells us that overflows are poorly measured, and that a rapid upgrade is necessary!

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Ask the Ministry of the Environment to intervene

If cities were monitored, they would certainly be more likely to comply with the regulation. Demand that the Ministry of the Environment enforce it and invite it to provide Quebec with a spill reduction objective. You can take the following text in full, or take inspiration from it, and send it to:

EquipeDediee.EauxUseesMunicipales@environnement.gouv.qc.ca

Subject: Nearly 200 cities and municipalities violate article 9 of ROMAEU

To whom it May concern,

Article 9 of the Regulation respecting municipal wastewater treatment works (ROMAEU), in force since 2014, requires that any overflow structure that experiences an overflow not caused by an emergency be equipped with an electronic overflow recorder (EED) capable of measuring the frequency and cumulative daily duration of overflow.

However, 194 cities and municipalities, representing approximately 10% of works in Quebec, are in violation. According to the Administrative Monetary Penalties Registry, your department has only imposed six sanctions to date. Your monitoring role is essential and this delay can only be made up for by applying sanctions in a much more rigorous and active manner.

Measuring overflow duration is crucial to obtain an accurate picture of spills, which significantly affect the water quality of surrounding waterways, and to act at the source in the event of a problem. Knowing that the Ministry of the Environment is not cracking down on recalcitrant cities and municipalities in a context where extreme precipitation, more frequent due to climate change, will add pressure on the sewer networks, hardly reassures me.

I therefore invite you to revise your ministerial position of September 22, 2021, which invites municipalities not to increase the number of spills beyond 2013 levels, and establish an overall objective for reducing water spills. worn out, and thus, demonstrate leadership.

Thank you for your attention to this message.

Please accept the expression of my distinguished greetings.

Encourage your city to see clearly!

If your city is one of those with violations identified as a priority by our list, ask it to correctly measure its spills.

Priority cities and municipalities that should measure wastewater discharges

MunicipalityAdministrative RegionRank 2022Rank 2021Emails
barrauteAbitibi-Témiscamingue79382secretaire.dg@municipalitebarraute.com
BerthiervilleLanaudière30379reception@ville.berthierville.qc.ca
CoaticookEstrie116394administration@coaticook.ca
CourcellesEstrie165389municipal@telcourcelles.net
ThawsLower St. Lawrence85151info@degelis.ca 
ParquetAbitibi-Témiscamingue185392direction@villeduparquet.ca
GrenvilleLaurentians208393info@grenville.ca
HuntingdonMontérégie2355reception@villehuntingdon.com
Love itSaguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean212394info@ladore.ca
Lebel-sur-QuévillonNorthern Quebec272391ville@lsq.quebec
mariaGaspésie--Îles-de-la-Madeleine259388info@mariaquebec.com
richmondEstrie104234commis@ville.richmond.qc.ca
Saint AmableMontérégie214394ville@st-amable.qc.ca
Saint-Éphrem-de-BeauceChaudière-Appalaches111210reception@saint-ephrem.com
Saint-Fabien-de-PanetChaudière-Appalaches282394munpanet@saintfabiendepanet.com
TerrebonneLanaudière40168s_communication@ville.terrebonne.qc.ca
Tring-JunctionChaudière-Appalaches5102info@tringjunction.qc.ca
SherbrookeEstrie82119communications@sherbrooke.ca
SaguenaySaguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean4999info@ville.saguenay.qc.ca
RepentignyLanaudière216226infrastructures@repentigny.ca
Agglomeration of Longueuil (desert Boucherville, Brossard, Saint-Lambert) Montérégie2832311@longueuil.quebec

Subject: Lack of electronic overflow recorders (EED) on your network

To whom it May concern,

As a citizen, I was surprised to see that my city has still not equipped all of its wastewater overflow works with electronic overflow recorders (EED), as required since 2014 in Article 9 of the Regulation respecting municipal wastewater treatment works (ROMAEU). However, measuring overflow duration is crucial to obtain an accurate picture of spills, which considerably affect the water quality of surrounding watercourses, and to act at the source in the event of a problem. Knowing that my city does not adequately measure spills in a context where extreme precipitation, more frequent due to climate change, will add pressure on sewer networks, does not reassure me.

What explains that almost 10 years after the regulation came into force, our city has still not complied with it? What place does the protection of water resources occupy in your priorities?

The health of the lakes and rivers in my region is close to my heart: I would like one day to be able to enjoy bodies of water without worrying about the risks that the quality of the water has for my health, or for that of aquatic species, considering that spills expose them to viruses and microbes and can deprive them of oxygen, which can put their survival at risk. This is why I am sending you a request, to comply with the ROMAEU requirement.

Until then, I invite you to consult the list of wastewater spills in Quebec, developed by Fondation Rivières. The ranking ranks the cities and municipalities that stand out in terms of the intensity of their spills. This year, the Foundation assigned overflow durations of 24 hours to all events occurring from structures without an electronic overflow recorder (EED). There you will find our city, whose ranking was affected by this adjustment and which I hope to see it slide to the bottom of the ranking in the future.

Thank you for your attention to this message.

Please accept the expression of my distinguished greetings.

Help us preserve the quality of water in Quebec's rivers

The ranking encourages elected officials to correct sanitation problems. Help us increase the impact of the rankings!

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