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Water Today Title July 7, 2022

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Advisory of the Day



On March 3rd a Boil Water Advisory was issued for the Municipality of Sainte-Pertétue, Québec. According to a post on the town's Facebook page, the preventative measure was issued by the Ministère de Développement durable, Environment et Lutte contre les changement climatique (MDDELCC). The social media post states that "as a result of the many warnings to save drinking water, work has been carried out on our pumping station in order to make a connection to a temporary well.

The precautionary measures will be in place "until the MDDELCC accepts the request for the new well". The post adds that the ministry is giving itself a window of "two months minimum to respond to the request." We learned through the municipality's public documents that the drinking water source has been something that town officials have paid considerable attention to.

A motion put forward by Council Member François Pinard, in the regular February meeting points to a decline in well performance. In this case the well's ability to adequately provide drinking water to the town. The minutes also indicate that the council believed putting piezometer (PZ4) into operation is the "temporary solution to stabilize the situation".

The project to connect the town's water system to a temporary well would require very specific expertise. The council acknowledged that the project would require the services of a hydrogeologist, and to that end voted to "award the contract to Arrakis Consultants Inc." The Québec City firm specializes in the areas of hydrology, environment and geophysics.

We contacted the offices of Arrakis Consultants for insight into their role in the Sainte-Perpétue project. Unfortunately, no one was available for comment.

An Extraordinary Council meeting was held on February 27, 2017 and was preceded by a presentation by a hydrogeologist. There was only one piece of business on the agenda a "request for authorization to use the water from well PZ4". The request would be made under provisions set out in Québec's Environment Quality Act article 31.75 subsection 2.

The article allows for "a temporary, non-recurring withdrawal for emergency response, humanitarian or civil protection purposes". The council adopted the motion to file the request with the MDDELCC "no later than September 30, 2017". The Facebook post would seem to indicate that the request has already been made.

Sainte-Pertétue is under an advisory until it receives official authorization to begin to pump water from PZ4 temporarily. Questions still surround the situation in the town in the Centre-du-Québec, and deserve answers from municipal officials. Those answers will have to wait until the municipal offices re-open on March 20.

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