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Pilot project for continuous monitoring of water quality in the L’Assomption River

Plage L'Assomption Léo Jacques - Fondation Rivières


Montreal, September 2, 2020 – The Fondation Rivières and the City of L'Assomption are currently carrying out an unprecedented study to measure the impacts of wastewater overflows and other sources of pollution on the bacteriological quality of water at the municipal drinking water intake and in the relaxation area of the Léo-Jacques Park ; both located on the banks of the L'Assomption River, in L'Assomption.


Like hundreds of municipalities in Quebec, the City of L'Assomption obtains its water from a river. However, we note the presence of contaminants, particularly of fecal origin, which come from upstream of the river. These contaminants are of course eliminated by the City's drinking water plant, but many citizens take advantage of a relaxation area along the river to swim during the summer and the City wants to ensure safety. bathers. “ We want to know more precisely and quickly the variation in contaminant concentrations over time, but also the sources of pollution that affect the quality of the water at our drinking water intake. » – Sébastien Nadeau, mayor of the Town of L’Assomption

In response to these concerns, Fondation Rivières developed a continuous monitoring project for the presence of fecal coliforms in order to enable effective risk management. The rapid detection of peaks of bacteriological contamination will thus allow operators of thefiltration plant to react more quickly in the event of an abnormal situation.

The project

The project consists of carrying out analyzes automatically at intervals varying from 30 minutes to four hours depending on the conditions observed. These are carried out with a device ColiMinder deployed in the factory which makes it possible to detect the presence and quantity of E.Coli in water in 15 minutes. The results are then transmitted in real time on the Web and to the operators of the drinking water treatment plant who can trigger other samples for additional, more in-depth analyses. Four partners participate in the project: the Town of L’Assomption, Nordikeau, the Fondation Rivières and thePolytechnic School of Montreal, which provides a ColiMinder device and scientific advice free of charge. The Fondation Rivières can thus carry out real-time monitoring of the bacteriological quality of the water at the collection point.

“As soon as the ColiMinder device detects a case of high contamination, our team is dispatched to take water samples at strategic locations upstream of the river. These samples are then subjected to the ColiMinder analysis which will detect the bacteriological quality in 15 minutes, which therefore makes it possible to detect the origin of the sources of pollution. Analyzes are also carried out at the Léo-Jacques relaxation area by the City team with ColiMinder analyses. Other analyzes make it possible to determine whether the coliforms are of human or animal source. This information is then aggregated into a database which collects information on sewage overflows upstream, the level of precipitation observed and the flow in the river, which should allow us to fully understand the impact of overflows on the water quality of the L'Assomption River. » – Alain Saldzius, president of the Fondation Rivières.

This pilot project for continuous monitoring of water quality lasts 16 weeks from August to November 2020.

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For informations :

Sophie Lachance
Responsible for communications and mobilization

Émilie Forget
Communications Advisor, Ville de l’Assomption


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