Letter to the editor 2, June 29, 2017

Town Sewers

Dear Editor,

Reference a recent article by John Jantak regarding St. Lazare resident Marc Leblanc, whose basement has flooded twice due to town sewer backups and who is still unable to use toilets, showers, or dishwasher when it rains (St. Lazare checking for illegal sewage system hookups, June 8, page 5). Mayor Robert Grimaudo stated that, “part of the problem is caused by some residents illegally discharging run-off water into the sewers” and that the town frequently sends employees to a location to pump out the sewer pipes in order to lower the level.

Mayor Grimaudo also stated, “a stream that runs nearby is another reason for the backflow problem, because the accumulated sediment and silt at the bottom of the stream needs to be removed, but can only be done with MRC approval.”

The issue of smaller sewer pipes in the downtown area, as well as smaller sewer pipes down-stream from the Leblanc residence, has not been raised. Some of these smaller sewer pipes were installed when St. Lazare had less than 3,500 residents, which is why this ‘temporary pumping’ is a frequent occurrence. No one has identified exactly what is pumped out of these pipes and where it is pumped to!

When the town connects these pumps to lower the level in the sewer pipe, there are three connecting points, one of which is at a pumping station at Rue des Cèdres and Rue St. Germain, where the discharged flow goes into a nearby stream, ironically named “Décharge St. Lazare” which runs past Pataterie Le Belle Province and on down to Ruisseau Denis-Vinet and into Lac des Deux Montagnes.

The “accumulation of sediment and silt in this nearby stream” mentioned by Mayor Grimaudo, is probably due to the town’s temporary installed pumps discharging raw sewage mixed with rain water into this steam, and they have been doing so for nearly a decade.

The frequency of these temporary discharges seems to be with any significant rainfall, or spring thaw, but the volume of these discharges and the content of these discharges are unknown.

If the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges know this ‘stream needs accumulated sediment and silt removed,’ then they surely know that the town of St. Lazare frequently discharges raw sewage mixed with rain water into this same stream.

This practice will continue until St. Lazare replaces all of these small sewer pipes, in and around downtown, but in the meantime we still have Au Galop and a new $11.4 million Town Hall.

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