Quebec City wins jury prize for best drinking water at Réseau symposium

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Top jury honours at the recent event, hosted at the Congress Center of Saint-Hyacinthe, went to Quebec City’s Beauport Station for "Best Municipal Water". Photo Credit: Ville de Quebec

At a ceremony held by Réseau Environnement at its 41st Symposium on Water Management in October, more than 350 municipal stakeholders came together for two days to honour 23 Quebec municipalities for excellence in the drinking water, wastewater and stormwater sectors.

Top jury honours at the event, hosted at the Congress Center of Saint-Hyacinthe, went to Quebec City’s Beauport Station for Best Municipal Water. Water from 13 stations of the eight municipalities participating in this fifth edition of the Best Municipal Water in Quebec competition was evaluated by the jury according to taste, clarity and smell.

The city of Rouyn-Noranda won the public’s judging for best drinking water.

“I am very proud of all the efforts made by the member municipalities of Réseau Environnement’s water excellence programs who believe it is important to provide their citizens with water of superior quality and to always aim higher!” said President and CEO of Réseau Environnement, Jean Lacroix, in a statement translated to English.

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The Quebec City honour is particularly notable on the heels of a 2015 report that shows substantial premature aging for Lac St-Charles, which provides drinking water for some 300,000 people in Quebec’s capital. The report found that an excess of nutrients in the lake had aged it some 25 years over just five years, making it host to a growing number of invasive species. The area was also prone to heavy development, which was briefly placed under a moratorium while new building regulations were drafted.

Another award category at the symposium honoured water conservation efforts and progress. The municipalities of Delson, Beaconsfield, Gatineau, Saint-Étienne-des-Grès and L’Assomption received recognition for their progress towards the objectives established with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy as part of the strategy for Quebec’s drinking water conservation.

“We are proud to say that our total drinking water consumption decreases year after year,” said Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle in a statement. “The investment in replacing underground infrastructure ensures quality drinking water is distributed to residents and also makes sure wastewater drains efficiently. Each of these actions plays an important role in managing our resources responsibly,” he added.

Mayor Bourelle stated that Beaconsfield carries out awareness-raising activities as part of a Drinking Water Conservation program. It entails education in schools and day camps and communications organized on various platforms such as participation in special events to discuss the subject of drinking water with the community in door-to-door campaigns.

The cities of Bécancour, Laval (Pont-Viau, Sainte-Rose and Chomedey stations), Montréal (Pointe-Claire station), Québec (Beauport, Charlesbourg and Québec stations), Saint-Eustache, Rouyn-Noranda, L’Assomption and Victoriaville obtained the symposium’s “5-star” certificate for the quality of water produced at their drinking water stations during 2017. The prize is awarded for the quality of drinking water based on elements such as the turbidity of the treated water, the quality criteria of which is three times higher than those of the regulations for the quality of the drinking water, said symposium officials.

The municipality of Rivière-du-Loup won the symposium’s “4-star” certificate.

Lastly, the treatment plants of eight municipalities, and a board, received the “3-star” certificate. These stations met water quality criteria twice the equivalent of regulations for drinking water quality. The winning stations were Beauharnois, Gatineau (Gatineau, Hull and Aylmer stations), Longueuil (regional station), Montréal (Pierrefonds, Dorval and Lachine stations), the Moulins intermunicipal water supply board, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ( East station and West station), Saint-Henri, Trois-Rivières and Sainte-Thérèse.

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