Wastewater from a Montreal school has been flowing into the river for years

Wastewater from a Montreal school has been flowing into the river for years

For years, a Montreal elementary school has inadvertently released its raw sewage into a nearby river.

Lester B. The Pierson School Board announced the temporary closure of two restrooms at Terry Fox Elementary School in Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough because wastewater was mistakenly discharged into a storm sewer instead of a sanitary sewer.

It contributed to water contamination at a site in the Rivière des Prairies region north of Montreal Island. Stormwater drains into a river near a public park, where faecal coliform counts consistently exceed the pollution threshold set by the city at 60 times.

City officials have known about the contamination since at least 2008, but say they didn’t discover the source until 2021. However, the school board says it learned about the sewage problem in a June 26 letter from the city. The Canadian press began asking questions about pollution.

Lester B. Darren Becker, director of communications for Pearson, said the city has requested an action plan by July 29. She hopes the school board will hire an engineering firm to replace the plumbing connections and have the work completed by the time the children return to school in August.

He doesn’t know why the school board didn’t find out about the problem sooner.

“I don’t want to blame the city,” he said. Eventually, the repair work will be carried out.

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