• John Jantak

St. Lazare checking for illegal sewage system hookups

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

St. Lazare council listen to resident Marc Leblanc about his complaint regarding basement flooding which the town primarily blames on illegal rainwater pipe connections to its sewage system.

The Town of St. Lazare is currently conducting inspections of certain households to make sure their rainwater pipes are not illegally connected to the town’s sewage system in order to help prevent basement flooding in some homes during a heavy rainfall, said Mayor Robert Grimaudo at the Tuesday evening council meeting, June 6.

The issue was raised during question period by resident Marc Leblanc who said his basement flooded again on Monday because of the day-long precipitation and asked what the town would do to fix the problem. Leblanc said his basement also flooded last August because of heavy rains.

The area affected is close to the downtown core north of Chemin Ste. Angélique between Rue Denis and Rue des Cèdres. Grimaudo said the town has been aware of the problem for over one year when it was first brought to their attention and has been doing what it can to resolve the problem.

Backflow problems

The biggest contributing factor has to do with the illegal sewage hookups in some houses, which overwhelms the system and results in water backflow problems for some residents, said Grimaudo. He added the system is designed to handle only sewage and that any other unauthorized connection is illegal.

District 4 Councillor Marc-André Esculier, who represents Leblanc, agreed with Grimaudo’s assessment and concurred that the town has been working on the issue and city representatives are conducting inspections at various homes in the affected area to make sure their rainwater pipes are not connected to the sewage system.

“We have to deal with the illegal connections which will go a great length in resolving the situation,” Esculier told Your Local Journal. “The town has been very pro-active but unfortunately with everything that has to be done, it could take up to one year.”

MRC will clean nearby waterway

A stream that runs nearby is another reason for the backflow problem because the accumulated sediment and silt at the bottom needs to be removed and the only government body that can authorize the clean-up is the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges because waterways fall under their jurisdiction, said Grimaudo.

“There is a project that has been approved by the MRC and it will be done before the fall and this process is to clean out the waterway. The accumulation of sediment is preventing the proper evacuation of rainwater and we also need to re-profile some ditches to alleviate the problem,” said Grimaudo.

He added the town always tries to stay atop of the problem and part of their strategy is to use a temporary pump during inclement weather when warranted to reduce the water flow in the sewage system. A proposal to install a permanent pump was rejected by the provincial environment ministry, said Grimaudo.

“It’s not an easy situation to rectify. I understand Mr. Leblanc’s situation and I sympathize with him but he would like to have the problem resolved immediately and that’s impossible. We hope the action plan we put in place will remedy the problem but we’ll only know that after everything has been done,” said Grimaudo.

Sinking foundation financial assistance

Financial relief could be on the way for homeowners with foundation problems after Mayor Robert Grimaudo announced that the town has applied to the provincial government for subsidies to provide financial assistance to homeowners who have had to undergo major renovations to stabilize their foundations.

“We passed a resolution at a special session of council two weeks ago because our application had to be done before the end of May,” said Grimaudo. “We’re now waiting on the provincial government to let us know whether our application will be accepted.”

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