The Lac-à-la-Pêche plant with “current technology will never work” | Shawinigan drinking water in early 2021

Since the announcement of the boiling water alert for 30,000 Shawinigan residents on December 1, 2021, numerous attempts to get the plant going have failed. The membranes clog too quickly, which wears them out prematurely and therefore reduces their life. In doing so, the city is increasingly mired in a financial abyss. The mayor wants to stop the bleeding.

We can’t stay in a situation like this and we can’t spend a million dollars every two years to change membranesagrees the mayor.

A second factory planned

For the first time, Michel Angers does not rule out the construction of a second filtration plant if this were the only option. He is waiting very early the recommendations of the engineers in charge of proposing a permanent solution. Changing the membranes on a recurring basis would require the City to invest several million dollars over the life of the plant without ever achieving optimal performance.

I need it in the end, we can go to bed on Friday night without fear of Saturday morning blowing up and not working […] I’m not an expert, but in my opinion we need new technologieshe argues.

This technology is traditional filtration, used in particular in Trois-Rivières.year. Will this be the ultimate solution for us? Perhaps. “,”text”:”If I look at Trois-Rivières, things have been going well for 30-40-50 years. Will this be the ultimate solution for us? Perhaps. “}}”>If I look at Trois-Rivières, things have worked well for 30-40-50 years. Will this be the ultimate solution for us? Perhaps.

Michel Angers hopes that the dossier will progress in 2023, but warns citizens that the return to normality will take a long time.

2023 will be the year of the final solution. Then we will talk about years, even three, four, five years for the transformations. We start with a three to four five year marathon minimum he admits.

But he is categorical: it is not a question of reliving the same nightmare of last year when he had to announce to 30,000 citizens that from now on they would have to boil the water before consuming it. The notice lasted for seven months and caused its share of dissatisfaction and trouble among citizens.

I want to make sure of one thing, and that is that citizens will never have to live with notice again. [de faire bouillir l’eau] as we last saw when it lasted for several monthshe says.

Québec’s help is requested

How much are the investments? The president of the judiciary does not have the answer for the moment, but he will need the provincial government to absorb most of the bill. He recalls that the city had no choice but to opt for this technology at the time to comply with Quebec’s compliant highest bidder policy.

« It’s not up to the citizens of Shawinigan to pay for a second implant. They pay one, and that’s it »

A quote from Michel Angers, mayor of Shawinigan

The bill will depend on the outcome of the city’s $23.3 million lawsuit against general contractor Allen, engineering firm WSP and membrane filtration technology supplier Suez. Michel Angers holds them responsible for the ongoing setbacks, especially Suez which he should have known that membrane filtration would not work with Lac-à-la-Pêche water.

He knows very well that the battle will be long. Suez, which has merged with Veolia, is a multinational with revenues exceeding $30 billion annually. Shawinigan is counting on Quebec for
assist him in legal proceedings.

« Someone somewhere will have to pay. If a new factory makeover costs $40 or $50 million, it will be part of the lawsuit. We have received confirmation that the government will help us. It will be a matter of establishing at what level. »

A quote from Michel Angers, mayor of Shawinigan

For her part, the deputy of Laviolette-Saint-Maurice Marie-Louise Tardif assures that the government will support the Municipality when the new recovery plan is presented to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. This plan must include a permanent solution that solves the drinking water problem in Shawinigan once and for all.

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