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Water Today Title June 29, 2022

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Advisory of the Day



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Last week a Do Not Consume Advisory was listed among the advisories published by the Ministère de Développement durable, Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCCC) for a "drinking water distribution system in a student residence at Collège Haut Sommets (CHS), in Saint-Tite-des-Caps Québec.

The MDDELCCC did not provide any other information on their website. We contacted the secondary school directly for more information.

Sonia Lefrançois, President of the CHS Board of Directors, explained that the advisory was issued because of "a contamination due to heavy rains." She underlined that "the water does not contain any coliform, [and] the advisory was issued as a precaution".

Lefrançois confirmed that the order only affects CHS and "only the boys' residence [the] building located at 97, ave. de la Montagne."

The school "has an intervention protocol that we follow," Lefrançois said, and "an employee has been trained and certified under the Opérateurs captage et réseaux élémentaires (OCaRe) program."

OCaRe is a training program offered by Emploi Québec to certify individuals to work in water collection, treatment, and distribution. The Règlement sur la qualité de l'eau potable, Québec's water quality law, requires that anyone working in these installations be competent to do so.

Lefrançois said that the issue should be rectified "by the weekend." In the meantime boys in the residence are being provided "bottled water and there are vending machines with bottled water that is available."

When asked if the school was subject different water quality standards than a municipal system Lafrançois said "we must be compliant under the regulations for systems between 21 and 1000 users." A system of this size must perform bi-weekly tests on the drinking water "as well as source water tests."

We also contacted the Ministère de l'éducation et Enseignement supérieur, Québec's education ministry, and were informed that "that building maintenance is the responsibility of the school boards, [though] they must comply with regulations in force."

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