More than 70 000 gatineau residents forced to boil water

Plus de 70 000 Gatinois forcés de faire bouillir l'eau

Approximately 70 000 residents in the Hull area will be subject to an extensive notice precautionary boil water as early as 20 October, and for a minimum duration of five days.

The City of Gatineau announced on Wednesday the implementation of this measure was made necessary due to a major intervention that must be carried out in the framework of the modernization of the plant production of drinking water (UPEP) of Hull.

The boil water advisories will be in effect from 7 am Saturday, October 20.

Almost all of the Hull sector will be affected by this notice preventative. Only the inhabitants of the Plateau district will not be affected, because the area may be temporarily supplied with water from the plant in the Aylmer sector.

Plus de 70 000 Gatinois forcés de faire bouillir l'eau

Map of areas affected by the notice precautionary boil water advisory from the 20th of October.

Courtesy, City of Gatineau

During this period, the citizens and the institutions will need to boil tap water for one minute before consuming. They are also asked to conserve water wherever possible.

In the course of the interventions on the network, the City warns that the affected residents may notice that the water becomes brownish or yellowish. A slight drop in water pressure could also be found in the neighbourhood of Manoir des Trembles, especially at night.

The delicate operation, one key step of the work of $ 68 million in progress since the spring of 2017, will connect the new water main to the water distribution at the output of the factory located on the way to Lucerne.

The work will be carried out in two stages. The first intervention is planned to 20h October 19, at 8 a.m. on October 20, while the second is scheduled for 20 hours on the 21 October at 8am on October 22. During these works, water supply will be ensured by a bypass duct.

“During all this period, there will be boil, but also for approximately 48 hours after the completion of the work, waiting to see the quality of the water. It has two series of samples to be taken. Then it is sure that there will be no lifting (of the notice) before the Wednesday morning (October 24) and, obviously, it will be necessary for the result to be good, otherwise it will be later. […] It will always be water, but it would be better that the citizens are careful not to over consume it, for example, avoid to wash the car. It’s going to help us greatly,” launched by the director of the Department of the environment, Chantal Marcotte.

The expansion and modernization of the UPEP, which will allow to increase the filtration capacity of 73,000 cubic metres per 113 000 cubic metres per day, is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2019. The new facilities will meet the needs of the people in the area for at least the next 20 years.

At the Commission scolaire des Portages-de-l’outaouais (CSPO), where a dozen schools will be affected by this notice are said to be currently assessing the magnitude of the situation, but it is assured that bottled water will be provided to the relevant institutions.

On the side of the integrated Centre of health and social services for the Outaouais region (CISSSO), where many facilities will be affected including the Hospital of Hull, it is suggested to have at any time a reserve of three liters per person for a period of 48 hours.

“We have a contract with a company that delivers water as a priority, seven days a week, 24 hours on 24. We are going to order water according to the needs and the duration of the notice period of the boiling water. We are in constant communication with the City of Gatineau. The notice is issued in advance, which will give us time to prepare,” confirms the spokesperson Geneviève Côté.

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The conservators will have to adjust

The boil water advisory for five days declared by the City of Gatineau will have impacts on the operations of the restorers. Some do not find it particularly funny, while others do not formalize too much.

“We’re going to have to find a contingency plan. I don’t know all the logistics of water distribution network of the City, but it is still special as this is not made by sections. Four days without drinking water for a restaurant, it is incredible. I’m going to have to talk to my suppliers and provide bottled water to customers,” notes the vice-president and general manager of the six St-Hubert restaurants of Gatineau and Ottawa, Jean-Claude Boucher.

The latter, which indicates that the end of the week represents 40% of weekly income to its restaurant, would have preferred that the notice be in force only the week. The whole thing would have been “less harmful”, but now that the decision is made, it will adapt, he says.

Different theories for Alexandre Leblanc, general manager of the coffee bar To 4 Thursdays and Piz’za-za, Alexandre Leblanc.

“Personally, I’m totally in favor of the days chosen, because for both of my shops, rather, it is on Thursdays and Fridays which are the busiest days. So it would have less impact. It takes planning, but you know ten days in advance. We will, for instance, already preparing ice cubes and the water necessary to the preparation of the food, it will boil the amount desirable the day before so it has time to cool at night. This is nothing major as situation, even if it causes inconvenience. I prefer this to a power outage.

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