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Adopt a river - Chateauguay River

River Chateauguay

Photo credit: Frede Langlois

Adopt the Châteauguay River to:

Your contribution allows us to continue to protect Quebec's rivers

Sometimes witness to a historic battle, sometimes battered by the effects of agriculture, the Châteauguay River has seen others! This badass also has a flirtatious side: her charms are revived as the water quality improves. The Châteauguay River is getting back on track.

Do you know the Châteauguay River?

Name Abenaki

Lorem Ipsum




Upper Chateauguay Lake



Average flow

33 m3/s

Total elevation


Rivière Châteauguay, Ste-Martine, Québec.
Postcard of the Châteauguay River, Ste-Martine, Quebec.

Dual citizenship passport

Châteauguay extends over a hundred kilometers between the American and Quebec territories. It was on its banks near Huntington that took place in 1813 the Battle of Châteauguay, which pitted the Americans against the British, alongside whom the French Canadians fought! Today, goodbye to discord: Châteauguay allows all nations to recharge their batteries in peace.

Swimming a century apart

At the beginning of the 20th century, the banks of the Châteauguay attracted crowds, both the working classes and the bourgeoisie. In summer, we lounged there, we bathed there. The agricultural industry and urbanization then affected water quality, just like the L'Assomption River. No matter, the Châteauguay is “made strong”: sanitation interventions have led to a notable improvement, so much so that we hope to soon be able to swim there again, like 100 years ago!

Photo credit : Frede Langlois 

What are the challenges of the Châteauguay River?

Water quality

The phosphate and nitrate contained in fertilizers contribute to affecting the water quality of the Châteauguay River. The result is a proliferation of algae and a disruption of flora and fauna. Bank erosion does not help the situation. That said, the pollution of the watercourse is not only of agricultural origin, but urban: beyond the wastewater discharged into the river, the Water Master Plan for the watershed of the Châteauguay zone indicates that "the surface areas impermeable areas that continue to expand in urban areas carry contaminants to the surface hydrographic network. In addition, the natural filters (woods and wetlands) that existed continue to diminish, despite conservation efforts. ".

To identify and possibly resolve sanitation issues on the Châteauguay River and its neighbors, Fondation Rivières evaluated the performance of municipal wastewater treatment works in the Châteauguay zone watershed. L'study took place in 2018 and 2019 in collaboration with the Society for the Conservation and Development of Watersheds in the Châteauguay Zone (SCABRIC).

Since 2020, the Fondation Rivières has disclosed the list of municipalities that stand out in terms of the intensity of their wastewater discharges into waterways, including the Châteauguay River. This exercise makes it possible to distinguish municipalities which have improved their situation in previous years from those where the situation has deteriorated. THE prize list serves as a lever to encourage elected officials to make the necessary corrections to improve the health of the rivers into which wastewater is discharged.

Bank erosion

Although erosion is a natural phenomenon that occurs with or without human intervention, the latter accelerates it. And since erosion causes movement of soil – which may contain contaminants following the effects of agriculture in particular – towards water, this results in a deterioration of water quality. The banks of the Châteauguay are no exception: they constitute a sector sensitive to erosion. Fondation Rivières wants to tackle this problem

Providing access to water for everyone

There is currently no public access allowing swimming in the Châteauguay River.

The Fondation Rivières and the Society for the Conservation and Development of Watersheds in the Châteauguay Zone (SCABRIC) are organizing a Grand Splash in Sainte-Martine since 2021 to demand the development of a public space intended for swimming and non-motorized water activities. Objective: that the municipality commits to ensuring water quality!

The Fondation Rivières achieved a study which confirms that the water of the Châteauguay River, in the Mercier sector, is of excellent quality for swimming and practicing non-motorized activities (kayak, canoe, paddle board, etc.) in summer and in bad weather dry. Carried out in collaboration with the Society for the Conservation and Development of Watersheds in the Châteauguay Zone (OBV SCABRIC), this study follows a first part thanks to closer monitoring. This made it possible to identify sources of contamination, develop avenues for intervention and establish a preliminary safety protocol with a view to improving public access to water in its sector. 

Can you swim in the Châteauguay River? 

Our studies on the water quality of the Châteauguay show that swimming is possible in summer and in dry weather! All that remains is for the municipalities concerned to develop public bathing areas.

Is the Châteauguay River navigable?

Yes! Discover the canoe routes of the Châteauguay River in accessing the Canot Kayak Québec and Eau Vive Québec map

Parcours canotables - Eau vive Québec et Canot Kayak Québec

Help us by adopting the Châteauguay River

The Fondation Rivières is mobilizing on this river to:

Donate and join an important mobilization movement!

Charity receipt

Fondation Rivières issues tax-deductible donation receipts, regardless of the amount. A receipt will be sent to you by email at the beginning of the year following the year of your adoption.

Organizations involved in the field

The Châteauguay River was adopted by:

Make a difference for the environment

Become a member of the Foundation by donating. Your contribution allows our team to continue to mobilize to protect Quebec's rivers and waterways for future generations. 

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