NDG residents file complaints over chemical vats, noise at construction site
Eight large vats containing chemicals have been sitting outside homes on Wilson Street in Montreal’s NDG neighbourhood for about a month.
The tubs, which hold hundreds of gallons of a blue liquid called Chemfloc AMX239, have garnered concerns from residents like Anita Berthier.
“It’s leaking onto the street and as a mother with a newborn baby I would like to know what these chemicals are and if they safe to be outside our homes,” she said.
Berthier is one of the residents who has filed a formal complaint over the vat and what she describes as continuous noise from the construction site. She says she worries about the repercussions of having the vats of Chemfloc outside her home.
For more than four weeks, the residential street has been transformed into a worksite as crews replace the underground lead pipes with a new material.
Sanexen, a company that has operated in Montreal for over 20 years, is responsible for replacing the water system’s infrastructure. Crews are allowed to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on construction projects.
“It’s been a rough summer,” said Berthier.
“I was expecting it with a newborn but I wasn’t expecting all of this.”
Martin Bureau, Sanexen’s vice president of innovation, says Chemfloc AMX239 is necessary to facilitate construction.
The purpose of the chemical is to thicken the dry soil that is removed while digging underground, according to Bureau. Adding the product also makes it easier to transport the soil away from the work site.
Bureau insists Chemfloc is an environmentally friendly chemical and it does not pose a threat to residents.
“There is no harm or risk, no safety concerns. The product is like Jello,” Bureau said.
One worker went as far to say he would be willing to wash his hands with the product.
“It reduces the number of trucks in the street so it’s actually safer in the sense and it’s good for the environment,” Bureau said.
The six-week project is nearly complete, according to Bureau. It is scheduled to end in about two weeks.
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