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St. Lawrence River, Sorel region – Water quality monitoring

St. Lawrence River, Sorel region – Water quality monitoring

Can you swim in the Sorel region?

The Sorel Islands are known for being a real playground for kayakers, canoes and paddleboarders. The largest archipelago of St. Lawrence River meet the Richelieu River at its mouth, between Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel and Saint-Joseph-de-Sorel, where access to water is becoming rarer. Is the water of good enough quality to open swimming areas?

The Fondation Rivières was mandated by these municipalities to assess the swimming potential at Pointe-aux-Pins and Henri-Letendre Parks by monitoring the quality of coastal waters and identifying contamination events at Escherichia coli (E.coli).

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Parc Henri-Letendre à Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel - qualité de l'eau
Federal wharf, Henri-Letendre park. Photo: Fondation Rivières

Our methodology

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Site (s
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The study was carried out using regular sampling at a frequency of three times a week. The Foundation was thus able to identify contamination trends in different weather conditions. The samples were analyzed according to the enumeration ofE.coli traditional at the Biovet laboratory in Sainte-Hyacinthe.

The 4 main stages

  • June 20 – First field visit and training of municipal teams for sampling
  • June 27 – Start of regular monitoring
  • September 28 – End of regular monitoring
  • November 24 – Submission of the report to the City of Saint-Joseph-de-Sorel and the Municipality of Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel

Findings

01.

In summer and in dry weather, the water is suitable for swimming and practicing non-motorized water activities.

02.

A high frequency of overflows degrades water quality during rain events.

There is good swimming potential in summer and in dry weather. Safe periods would be more frequent if the number of overflows decreased.

Swimming near Sorel soon!

In dry weather, swimming can be considered safe in summer and in dry weather with the exception of emergency overflows, which should be quickly reported in order to close access to swimming. The Fondation Rivières also suggests interventions to reduce the frequency of overflows during rainy weather.

Without inaugurating a supervised beach, the City of Saint-Joseph-de-Sorel and the Municipality of Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel are considering targeted sampling during rain to confirm contamination trends. This consultation will not fail to bring about even more diversified recreational tourism in the region!

Do you make decisions within your municipality?

Consult the guide to opening an urban swimming site to find out how the Fondation Rivières can help you.

Plage de Verdun
Verdun beach in summer 2021

Our water quality monitoring mandates 

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