Montreal's Sewage Dumping Ends
Montreal’s 30-kilometre southeast sewage interceptor is back in service and raw sewage will no longer be dumped into the St. Lawrence River, ending on the evening of Saturday, November 14, 2015.
Repairs to the major interceptor that was behind the raw sewage dump have been completed three days ahead of schedule according to Montreal’s Mayor Denis Coderre.
The long sewer pipe collects effluent from a network of other sewer lines on its way to the water treatment plant. The repairs, which started on Wednesday, were expected to last one week and dump eight billion litres of raw sewage in the river. According to the City of Montreal, the work was completed in 89 hours, and dumped no more than 4.9 billion litres of raw sewage into the river.
The city is still asking people to avoid contacting the water directly until further notice.
Raw sewage will still be dumped into the river for 10 days, but from only one pipe, the city said.
The wastewater will be dumped for seven hours a day at a rate of 0.8 cubic metres per second, while crews are on the job. For this reason, the city is advising residents in the Habitat 67 and King Edward sector to refrain from contact with the water during the 10 days of work.
The City of Montreal released the results of the water quality tests performed throughout the four-day sewage dump. While fecal bacterial levels were far above average concentrations, they resembled numbers seen during heavy rains, when sewers overflow into the river.
Many fear officials are playing down the role of the tests results. The average concentration in the St. Lawrence around Montreal since 2008 is 193 coliform units per 100 mL, according to some, “safe enough for human contact.”