MONTREAL – The city of Montreal is moving forward with its plan to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the Saint Lawrence River due to the demolition of the Bonaventure Expressway.
That’s the equivalent of nearly 3,000 Olympic sized pools of raw sewage from private residences, commerces and hospitals.
“We should’ve had a contingency plan. It’s 2015 where we talk green,” said Craig Sauve, the city’s opposition critic.
“We talk a lot about it, we say how important our water source is but we have to show it too.”
The waste-water is scheduled to flow untreated into the river for a week as of Oct. 18.
On Wednesday, the city had ordered a two-day moratorium to further study the project and allow the city to search for another solution.
Now, representatives confirmed they have no other choice than to dump the sewage into the water.
Quebec’s Environment Ministry gave the city permission to dump the dirty water.
According to city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin, the waste dumping is not a major environmental concern because the river has a huge dilution capacity.
Some water experts agree with the city – that there’s no major environmental concern.
“At the point of discharge, there’s very little dilution but then the plume spreads,” said Ronald Gehr, a McGill Civil Engineering professor and waste-water expert.
“About 10 kilometers downstream from the island, it’ll be hardly noticed.”
Gehr said Montreal can’t get around one fact – it must tear out sewage pipes to demolish the Bonaventure.
“I don’t know what other alternative there would be,” said Gehr.
“If our system were different, if we had several treatment plants then it would be possible to divert the flow and to pump it into another treatment plant.”
An online petition has already started to oppose the sewage dump.