MONTREAL — Residents in areas of Longueuil and surrounding communities are being told not to drink the tap water.
The warning comes in response to a fuel leak on Wednesday, where 28,000 litres of diesel leaked into the St. Lawrence River from a waste water treatment plant in Longueuil.
Wednesday afternoon, the city told residents that the water was safe to drink.
However, city officials revised their position on Thursday morning, telling residents in Vieux-Longueuil, St-Hubert, Boucherville and St-Bruno-de-Montarville not to drink or use the tap water.
The water advisory will remain in effect until further notice, while the water is being analyzed and tested.
What areas are affected?
The water advisory specifically affects the Longueuil boroughs of Vieux-Longueuil and St-Hubert, as well as two cities: Boucherville and Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville.
What areas are not affected?
Brossard and Saint-Lambert are not affected by the water advisory, nor are the areas of Le Moyne and Greenfield Park.
What about bottled water?
Bottled water will be made available for affected residents and the city is setting up four distribution sites:
- 1100 Marie-Victorin Boulevard
- Jean Béliveau Coliseum
- 6355 Maricourt Boulevard
- 195 de Châteauguay Street
However as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, there were long line-ups of residents waiting to access the water.
What about schools?
As a precaution, Marie-Victorin and Riverside School Boards have issued municipal water-drinking bans in their institutions.
Can I take a shower?
Officials are advising residents affected by the water advisory that they can:
- wash dishes
- wash clothing
- take showers and baths
What about food preparation?
Residents affected by the water advisory should use bottled water to:
- make drinks (tea, coffee, concentrated fruit juice, cocktails, Kool-Aid)
- brush teeth
- prepare bottles and baby food
- prepare food (soups, rice, pasta, JELL-O)
- make ice cubes
Remember to discard all ice cubes, drinks and food prepared using tap water since Jan. 14 (and don’t forget the water tanks in refrigerators).
What happens if I accidentally drink the water?
In a word: nothing.
According to Montérégie Public Health, the smell and taste of the affected tap water would be the biggest issue.
If a person managed to drink a significant amount of diesel-filled water, possible side effects could include diarrhea and vomiting.
The city is telling residents who have questions to contact 3-1-1.