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Water Today Title June 29, 2022

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Advisory of the Day



This story is brought to you in part by TecTeg Thermoelectric Power Generators

The island of Montreal is surrounded by the St-Lawrence River on the south shore and the Prairies River on the north shore. On the verge of the 375th anniversary of one of North-America's oldest portal cities, this first article in a series of 5, we take a closer look at the health of Montreal's most visible and essential attributes; water. More specifically it's supply, purification, distribution and waste water management.

The sewage and water supply system of Montreal has been put in place in the early 1800's to supply a growing population's needs to get access to drinkable water. In 2017, some boroughs have real estate that dates back to this era and updates are mostly done if breakage and last minute repairs become unavoidable. To prevent lead and bacteria poisoning, the city instituted by laws that have been in place for a few decades. The citizens have access to a leaflet on the city's website describing precautions to be taken in all times to insure minimal exposure to these issues. (http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/EAU_FR/MEDIA/DOCUMENTS/Leaflet_on_lead.PDF).

More and more people have been preoccupied by the water they drink. Bottled water is now selling in retail for more than the price of gasoline, personal water filtering systems in big chain stores (pitchers with replaceable filtering cartridges that you keep in the fridge) have top shelf real estate. Systems originally intended for purification of well water are becoming increasingly popular in new constructions or retrofitted to existing buildings to get rid of lead, chlorine and other purification/distribution residues present in the tap water.

Promising to remove calcium residues, chlorine, rust, bacteria and micro pathogens along with aftertaste, these elaborate systems transform tap water into pure H2O. In this era of technology and healthy living, simple tap water has become second class; more and more people won't drink unless a household brand bottled it or special treatment has been done to purify the blue gold; a far cry from the original intent of giving access to this primary source of life to the population of 200 years ago.

Antonio Greco a 59 year old St-Leonard district resident encountered next to me in a local restaurant last week, when asked by the waitress if he wanted a glass of water with his order sarcastically answered "St-Lawrence draft?!!, Nah.. give me a beer.." that gives a hint as to the perceived quality of the liquid by some locals.

Since 2005 the city of Montreal has been pro active in the elimination of lead and brass connexions to main lines more susceptible to be seen in "wartime housings" mainly built between 1940 and 1950 and 8 apartment buildings built pre 1970. The part connected to the city main line is the city's responsibility while the pipes from the building to the edge of property ground connection is the property owner's responsibility. This problematic area is the biggest reason why we can still find traces amount of lead in the city's water supply. Tomorrow in part 2 we take a look at water management in small business from tap to waste, legislation, obligations and reality.

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