The federal government is investing $12.6 million through the Green Municipal Fund to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste while improving the quality of water in eight communities across Quebec.
Administered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the funding will initiate pilot projects to address the capacity of the Rivière-du-Loup’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and ensure the sustainable management of stormwater in the Town of Amqui.
The Rivière-du-Loup’s WWTP $400,000 pilot project includes testing the treatment system at the maximum flow conditions projected for the next 30 years for its 13,800 residents connected to the system. For the first time in Quebec, the plant will transform one of its ponds into a “completely mixed” pond, then utilize an Actiflo ballasted flocculation (or high rate clarification) settling system at the outlet of the ponds.
In recent years, incidents of excess discharge at the WWTP have become increasingly common and the facility needs to be updated.
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Just a month ago, Rivière-du-Loup’s council voted to transfer its WWTP and drinking water operations away from the private control of Aquatech and into the hands of the municipality by May. Reducing employee turnover was noted as a key factor in the transfer, explained Mayor Mario Bastille. Over the next year, the municipality will be making a dozen new hires to round out a new water management department.
In 2005, Rivière-du-Loup adopted Quebec’s first water management policy and undertook significant work relating to stormwater runoff, including downspout disconnection, separating combined networks based on response plans, adding water meters, and implementing awareness campaigns.
Due to the fact that the municipality of Amqui gets its drinking water directly from the Matapedia River, officials are particularly concerned about the quality of the water and its aquatic ecosystem.
Amqui’s nearly $30,000 pilot project entails installing sumps and manholes, filter strips, bioretention areas, turfing and rain gardens, with the goal of achieving an 80% reduction of suspended solids and 80% of the stormwater runoff volume in the Blais district neighbourhood. The project aims to reduce the quantity of pollutants that reach the river and raise awareness of the sustainable management of stormwater.
The lion’s share of the new green funding ($11.5 million) is earmarked for a tri-generation plant at the City of Quebec’s Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus. The new heating system will utilize steam discharged by the municipal incinerator to both heat and cool the facility. The project runs in partnership with the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire-Québec-Université Laval.
Officials estimate that the project will reduce fossil fuel consumption and electricity from the grid by some 52%, and GHG emissions by 94%. Additionally, chemicals such as acids, caustics and CO2 will be reduced by 10% in relation to baseline quantities.
Additional projects under the new funding include more than $240,000 for a biomass heating system in the Municipality of Sainte-Hedwidge; a $400,000 circular economy ecosystem pilot project in the Lac-Saint-Jean region; a nearly $55,000 grant to study the implementation of an energy recovery loop to distribute heating and air conditioning between industrial buildings and municipal buildings in the Montcalm area of Candiac; the Municipality of Chelsea will receive nearly $24,000 to study the feasibility of sharing electric and hybrid vehicles; and lastly, there will be some $36,000 for a recycling pilot project in the City of Drummondville, where officials aim to recover and recycle bulky items as well as construction, renovation and demolition waste.