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Major flushgate in Trois-Rivières: Five years after Montreal, still no plan and measures to reduce the impact of spills on rivers

Pont Laviolette, à Trois-Rivières

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, September 11, 2020 – Fondation Rivières is calling on the Quebec government to put in place measures to reduce the environmental impact of wastewater spills. Five years after Montreal's Flushgate, there is still no strategy to control and limit environmental impacts in the event of wastewater spills.

The City of Trois-Rivières is forced to discharge almost all of its wastewater into the Saint-Maurice River and the Saint-Laurent River following breaks in the main wastewater pipe. It is estimated that 1.3 billion liters of wastewater, or 25% from the flushgate in Montreal in 2015, will be discharged during the 19 days planned to repair the pipe, or 1,000 liters of wastewater per house, without any mitigation measure. No floating barriers to capture solids, no teams dispatched to collect waste, nothing.

The sewers of Trois-Rivières are no cleaner than elsewhere. While Montreal in 2015 and Longueuil in 2018 had installed such barriers and dispatched teams to collect waste, the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MELCC) would have accepted that the City would not install any floating barriers based on images taken by drone, from the air.

In November 2018, the Fondation Rivières had however Written to the Minister of the Environment MarieChantal Chassé to recommend a series of measures to constrain, limit and regulate these spill episodes. Fondation Rivières has just written to Minister Benoit Charrette to remind him of these recommendations, including those of designating a ministerial manager for the technical evaluation, monitoring such events and drawing up a list of mandatory measures in the event of spills. Among other measures, it is necessary to plan the sampling of water quality downstream, protocols to reduce the use of water by citizens or industries, the installation of temporary treatment works, barriers floating and pumping systems.

“The population wants to have the assurance, with good reason, that all reasonable efforts have been made to minimize the impact of the spills,” declares Alain Saladzius, president of the Fondation Rivières, while adding that “the government has not still put in place, since the Montreal flushgate in 2015, conditions which make it possible to identify best practices.

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Source :

Geneviève Tardy
Communications Manager
vs. 514 424-3556
communications@fondationrivieres.org

Photo: Richard Germain

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