At the request of a small association of local residents, the Superior Court of Quebec has ordered the City of Sainte-Agathe to “cease any non-treated discharge to the North River sewage ” (translated), a situation that the court awards to the “persistent laxity of the City and the Ministère des Affaires municipales” (MAM) for their tolerance of the non-compliance with the Environment Quality Act (EQA).
The Court gave 30 days to the town to “take all measures necessary to operate its treatment plant in accordance with authorization under the EQA” (translated).
Since 2006, the Court concluded that, “the City rejects carelessly treated wastewater into the North River which contains concentrations of fecal coliform exceeding the authorized limits. The City also rejects untreated wastewater without demonstrating how these overflows are allowed, because the City does not use the mandatory overflow recorder.” (translated)
- Instead, Sainte-Agathe installed a plastic bottle, tied with a rope and placed on a wall, to determine if the untreated wastewater were overflowing. For the Court, this method does not determine the frequency or extent of discharges of untreated wastewater, which its release is only permitted on exceptional basis.