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Water Today Title January 27, 2021

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Advisory of the Day



This story is brought to you in part by Sourceia - Eco-houses

A chemical spill from a building`s cooling system required the city of Montreal to issue a Do Not Use Water advisory for a busy downtown area.

On the afternoon of Thursday, May 10, residents and businesses located within the area bounded by Bleury Street, St-Antoine Street, Beaver Hall Hill and René-Lévesque Boulevard were evacuated and advised not to use the water for any purpose, even if it was boiled.

The source of the incident was a chemical spill of Magcare 107, a corrosion inhibitor used to control corrosion in closed loop cooling water systems, which occurred after a check valve malfunctioned on a cooling system.

The check valve that allows to inject drinking water on the cooling system, but ensures that used water does not flow back, failed; allowing the water contaminated with Magcare 107 back to the building`s drinking water system and spreading to nearby buildings via a shared pipe.

The incident was detected promptly due to a fluorescent tracer engineered on the corrosion inhibitor that tainted the water of a green color.

In addition to first respondents, Montreal's water service was called to the building, located at the corner of Viger Avenue and St-Alexandre Street, to evaluate if the water tainted with the corrosion inhibitor had entered in the city`s water system.

Residents, visitors and hotel guests in the area were evacuated. Seven persons residing at 445 Viger Street were treated by paramedics, four of whom were sent to hospital as a precaution with symptoms of nausea and diarrhea.

Later in the evening the city of Montreal informed via press release that "the contamination did not affect the city`s water system."

The Do Not Use Water advisory was partially lifted by the city of Montreal. The following addresses are still under the advisory: 443-445-447-449-451-453-455 Viger Avenue West, 454-456-470 de la Gauchetière Street West and 1030 Saint-Alexandre Street.

Because the current issue is related to the building's water system, it is the responsibility of the building owner to do the required repairs. The repairs will be inspected, and the water system validated by the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (Québec's Construction Department).

In addition "in order to lift the active advisory, the owners of the affected building need to have its water system drained and rinsed for at least twelve hours and perform the required water quality tests," said Montreal City officials. "Once the results are submitted, the city of Montreal and the Directorate of Public Health will decide if the Do Not Use Water advisory can be lifted."

Residents under the Do Not Use Water advisory are warned not to use the tap water for drinking, washing dishes or showering, even if brought to boil.

Affected residents will be notified by the City of Montreal and the owners of the building when the advisory is lifted.


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