• James Armstrong

Potable water aqueduct delayed for Tree Farm and Hudson Acres residents


Hudson Acres residents, (left to right) Louise Gauthier, Dolores Meade, and Louise DeSerres expressed their frustration with delays in the provincial approval process for the installation of a new aqueduct in their Vaudreuil-Dorion neighbourhood.

The installation of a new potable water aqueduct in Vaudreuil-Dorion that was expected to begin in the spring of 2018 has been delayed until September. Residents of the Tree Farm and Hudson Acres sectors received the news from the town by way of a letter dated March 6 that blamed the delay on the many steps of approval for the project required by the provincial government.

Frustration with government delays

“This has been going on since 2013,” said resident Louise Gauthier referring to the date when it was discovered that the local wells supplying the sector were contaminated and a boil water order was issued.

“We voted almost two years ago to go on the city system,” added her partner Dolores Meade. Residents made that choice when it became apparent that installing new wells was not a viable solution. The project to connect the neighbourhoods to the city system required the installation of a new aqueduct bordering Route Harwood.

“Every step of that project needs an approval from the provincial government and each one takes another three months,” said Gauthier.

Steps in the process

According to the letter, Vaudreuil-Dorion had received the complementary study validating the design of the water supply network requested by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC). All the final plans and documentation were to be transmitted to the MDDELCC for final approval by mid-March. The next step in the process at the ministry level was expected to take approximately 90 days ending with a certificate of authorization if all the plans are accepted. An additional 45-day period will be required for finalizing the plans and specifications for the call for tenders’ process. According to the city, if all deadlines are respected, the work is expected to begin in September 2018 and is estimated to last three months.

Residents’ reaction

“We should have water for Christmas, unless there are more delays,” said Gauthier

Since the beginning of the problem in 2013, Vaudreuil-Dorion has been supplying residents with bottled water delivered on a weekly basis.

“It’s frustrating but I’ve gotten used to the situation,” said Louise DeSerres describing how the bottled water is used for washing fruits and vegetables, cooking and direct consumption.

Although pleased with the delivery of potable water, both Gauthier and Meade described an unfortunate situation that occurred with the large bottles of water that require a dispenser. “There was a pinhole that we couldn’t see in the plastic container that allowed air into the bottle,” said Meade. The result was an overnight flood in their kitchen that ruined part of the wood flooring. The company collects the large bottles for reuse on each delivery.

“We switched to the smaller sized jugs to avoid the leakage problem but that means more plastic in the recycling bin,” she said.

“I am pleased that the city has kept their promise of providing regular updates,” said resident Glyn Jones adding, “My recollection is that the project has indeed slipped and that yet another acronym is involved in the approval process.”

The city’s letter also assured residents that everything was being done to move the project forward while complying with all the requirements of the Québec government that is supplying 50 per cent of the project’s financing through a grant from the Programme d’infrastructures municipales d’eau (PRIMEAU).