June 10, 2019 3:16 pm
Updated: June 10, 2019 3:18 pm

Montreal turning to water management to fight flooding

In this file photo, a road surrounded by floodwaters is shown.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Several heavily populated Montreal neighborhoods are getting major infrastructure investments to better protect them against spring runoff and flash flooding.  With flooding becoming a “serious problem” , there is a growing need to improve water retention facilities in Montreal, especially during the spring when the snow starts to melt.

Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, explained there is increasing pressure on sewers and water retention facilities.

READ MORE: Data reveals scope, damage of spring floods in Quebec and New Brunswick

This can lead to a high risk of water main and sewage pipes bursting and that can lead to contaminated water leaking into the drinking water system.

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“The City of Montreal treats more than 99 per cent of its wastewater and we are working tirelessly to treat the remaining one per cent,” Plante explained.

“Retention structure make it possible to reduce overflows into water ways during heavy rain.”

Champagne added that in several Montreal neighbourhoods, the most recent floods in Quebec exceeded levels recorded in 2017.

READ MORE: Quebec floods: army will stay to help with cleanup operations

One of the projects announced Monday includes building a retention system in the Griffintown neighbourhood, in Montreal’s Sud-Ouest borough “to maximize overflow control and better protect residents from water damage.”

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The second project would build four retention systems: three near the former Turcot Yards and one at the corner of Pie-IX Boulevard and 47th Avenue, areas that are densely populated.

“Taking concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change is more and more essential to ensuring a safe future for our children and grandchildren,” Champagne said.

“Year after year, the impacts of this reality are getting worse and happening more often across the country.”

All together, the government of Canada is investing over $54.3 million: $21.3 million for Griffintown and $33 million for the Turcot Yards. The money is coming from the federal government’s  Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund.

READ MORE: Montreal lifts state of emergency following drop in water levels

The hope is that these changes will better protect about 7,000 residents, while making sure their essential services aren’t affected during flooding and saving long-term recovery and replacement costs.

WATCH BELOW: Does Quebec need better flood maps?

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