Broken valve at Quebec City water treatment plant forces dumping of raw sewage into St. Lawrence
Officials in Quebec City say a broken valve at one of its water treatment plants is leading to thousands of cubic metres of raw sewage spilling into the St. Lawrence River every hour.
In a news release Sunday, the city said the melting snow and heavy rains caused the valve to break in the closed position Saturday night at the western water treatment plant, located in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood.
The wall valve, which controls the sewage inlet, is in a flooded section of the treatment plant 30 feet below ground.
Some 21,000 cubic metres of raw sewage has been flowing untreated into the river every hour since Saturday night as the city works to repair the valve.
Valérie Tremblay, director of water treatment operations for Quebec City, said experts are on the scene.
We do not yet know how long the repair may take,” she said.
The city said it informed the Ministry of the Environment of the incident as soon as it was made aware of it.
Tremblay says the city wants “a quick solution so that by tonight, the unblocked valve for water will start circulating through the water treatment plant again.”
Officials are asking for the collaboration of Quebec City residents, asking them not to flush baby wipes or sanitary napkins down the toilet.