Seven municipalities in ten contaminate rivers, Quebec

Sept municipalités sur dix contaminent les rivières au Québec

Photo: Wilson Ring Associated Press
The Richelieu river is part of the waterways targeted by the Rivers Foundation in his study.

Three years of studies reveal that seven municipalities in quebec over a ten-contaminate always the rivers.

The balance sheet revealed on Monday by the Rivers Foundation has been in the wastewater of 130 municipalities, or 15 % of the 846 existing systems, targeting the rivers Richelieu, Becancour, Châteauguay, Assumption and Missisquoi Bay where we live, nearly 1.5 million Quebecers.

Thus, in 2018, there has been a 53 645 overflows of sewage into the water courses of Quebec. One-third of municipal wastewater systems to exceed their hydraulic capacity of treatment, depending on what was found to the Rivers Foundation.

The Foundation believes that the main sources of pollution will not be reduced in the medium term according to the current rate and the large number of overflows.

The study found that the standards of discharge of contaminants into the environment do not take into account the evolution in time of the capacity of the natural environment to tolerate pollution. In this regard, the Foundation noted that all the municipalities have been waiting for 2014 their new standard, which will establish the maximum number of overflows that can tolerate the different watersheds and the standards of treatment to achieve.

The Foundation has also noticed that the municipalities were at fault or negligent in respect of water and sanitation, and that they had little to fear, as the Quebec government does very little penalties.

On the other hand, the municipalities rarely have the expertise or the support necessary to select the solutions best suited to their needs and to fulfil the conditions allowing them to obtain grants, depending on what was found in the Foundation.

She blames the Quebec government to grant subsidies to municipalities without taking into account the priorities of remediation at the scale of watersheds.

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