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Des Perennial Contaminants Detected in Waterloo Drinking Water

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It is in this well located on Taylor Street, in Waterloo, that the Municipality detected, last December, a large concentration of contaminants eternal.

Radio-Canada

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“Perennial contaminants”, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), were detected in significant concentrations in the drinking water wells of Waterloo, in Estrie, last December. Even if the concentration does not exceed the thresholds proposed by Health Canada, the Municipality is looking for a new source of water for its citizens.

These substances are found in particular in waterproofing products and in fire extinguishing foams.

These results concern Mayor Jean-Marie Lachapelle.

It's important that we have quality drinking water in Waterloo.

A quote by Jean-Marie Lachapelle, mayor of Waterloo

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Jean-Marie Lachapelle is mayor of Waterloo.

Professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Montreal, Sébastien Sauvé analyzed the report provided by the Municipality. He notes the presence of PFOS, which are part of the large PFAS family. These contaminants are particularly toxic.

Canada has not yet established a standard for PFOS. In the United States, however, it will be set at 4 nanograms per liter shortly. The concentration measured in Waterloo is 7 nanograms per liter.

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Moreover, the presence of eternal contaminants in the aqueduct network does not date yesterday.

In 2019, Professor Sauvé's team tested the water of 376 municipalities. Waterloo was then ranked at the top of the ranking of places with the worst concentrations.

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“It’s important that we have quality drinking water in Waterloo », underlines the mayor of the municipality.

We were still quite high, emphasizes Sébastien Sauvé.

Even if the concentration of all PFAS detected in Waterloo does not exceed the threshold proposed by Health Canada – which could become a standard – of 30 nanograms per liter, the mayor believes that we must be concerned. p>

The exact cause of the contamination is unknown. Jean-Marie Lachapelle suspects past industrial activities on Taylor Street.

The factory which supposedly produced more because of its industrial process n 'no longer exists, he specifies.

The City is looking for a new source of drinking water to limit the amount of PFAS ingested.

Several citizens met by Radio-Canada said they were happy with this news.

The Municipality is supported by the team of Benoit Barbeau, from Polytechnique Montréal. Even if the standards currently proposed by Health Canada are respected, he invites the Municipality to take action.

It's a matter of time before we have stricter standards on this molecule in particular, PFOS, he maintains.

He explains that if the City cannot find another source of drinking water, there are systems that can remove perennial contaminants from the water, including activated carbon.

Activated carbon is an absorbent that can retain these molecules. The molecules stick to the surface of the activated carbon neither more nor less. The less good news is that these are technologies that still have implementation costs that are not negligible, he points out.

The mayor hopes that he will be able to count on financial support from the State so that the people of Water continue to drink water from the aqueduct without fear.< /p>

Waterloo is not the only municipality in the region to request help from Quebec in the PFAS file.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The mayor of Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, who is also facing such a file, met with the Ministry of the Environment on Wednesday. The ministry confirms having found PFAS under the municipality's landfill site. Other steps must follow in this file.

With information from Thomas Deshaies

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