Advisory of the Day
RURAL AREAS, QC: RURAL QUEBEC BWAS
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Earlier this week, July 10, we reported on a situation in the Town of Spanish, Ontario where the lack of information surrounding a Boil Water Advisory (BWA) raised concern and speculation as to the nature and timing of the notice. Today we look at two very similar situations in rural Québec. The Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC), the government body in the province tasked with publishing BWAs, has the two events listed ironically for the same date as the Spanish advisory (July 7, 2017).
Both the Martinville in the Estrie region and Saint-Sixte in Outaouais are simply listed as being under a BWA. The MDDELCC does not publish the reasons for issuing advisories. Neither town has any information posted on their respective websites nor do they possess social media accounts which can be used as another medium to connect with the public.
In a statement, the Municipalité de Martinville confirmed the BWA, a "preventative measure is still in effect." Trace amounts of bacteria were found at the intake, and the advisory was issued even though "the water still underwent the chlorination process." The necessary testing is being carried out and the BWA is expected to be removed early next week.
We tried contacting the municipal offices in Saint-Sixte, with no results. We were finally able to make contact with representatives from La Vie au Lac, a residential area in Saint-Sixte. They were unaware of the BWA, and quickly informed us that "all residents of the area [are supplied] by private wells."
A reason why no information appears on the Saint-Sixte website and why it has been difficult to reach municipal officials is that "the offices are closed for vacations until Monday."
Both Martinville and Saint-Sixte are small towns both boasting populations of less than 470 people. Small numbers may allow the towns to notify residents personally and account for the lack of online information surrounding the water quality in these municipalities. The townspeople may be aware of the water issues, though thorough reporting can serve to keep those passing through the areas safe.
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