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Water Today Title November 20, 2017

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BWA of the Day



On August 21, residents of Sept-Îles, QC were advised to boil their tap water after traces of E.coli bacteria were found in one water sample during routine testing.

"It could be the result of a handling error because the bacteria was detected in only one sample," says the town's general manager, Claude Bureau. "Nonetheless we are following the procedures established by the province. We immediately notified all primary health care facilities such as hospitals, daycares and senior residences, as well as the general population; telephone chains were set up and hourly notices are broadcast on the radio.

According to Bureau, the town's $10 million chlorinating treatment plant is state-of-the-art and feeds about 20,000 residents; the Moisie and Gallix sectors are not affected because they have their own water systems.

"Twenty samples were taken across the distribution system on Friday for testing in a Quebec City laboratory, and 20 more will taken on Sunday,"says Bureau. "We expect the advisory to be lifted next Wednesday".

The town's water source is Lac-des-Rapides, located about 12km northwest of the municipality. Although the size of the lake is consideable and the quality of the raw water good, the town is concerned that expanding economic, industrial and ecotourist activities in the region will affect the quality of the water. A comprehensive study was undertaken and published in 2013 examining a range of protective measures.

Sept-Îles is in the Côte-Nord region of eastern Quebec. It is among the northernmost locales with a paved connection to the rest of Quebec's road network.

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