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St-Léonard sewage stench goes unresolved for years

A group of residents in St-Leonard say they have been fighting for decades to get the city to deal with the sewage fumes that waft onto their street and into their homes, but they say so far the stench has gone unresolved.

'The smell just penetrates everything,' resident says

St-Léonard residents say their streets and homes smell like manure. 2:20

A group of residents in the eastern part of St-Leonard say they have been fighting for decades to get the city to deal with the sewage fumes that waft onto their street and into their homes, but they say that so far the the stench has gone unresolved.

“The smell just penetrates everything,” said resident Sabine Choltus.

Choltus has lived in the neighbourhood for about 10 years and she said the stench fills her home. After getting nowhere with the public works department, she sent her complaint to CBC Montreal's Street politics map:

Sabine Choltus' submission to CBC's Street Politics:

In our neighbourhood we have a major problem with sewage odor. The stench flows out of the street/sewage gutters almost constantly. It is so strong that it even comes INSIDE certain houses (such as mine) through the drain pipes. Everyone in the neighbourhood has been complaining about it for years but nothing ever gets done about it. I called the city last year and they said they would, one day, pass by and try to clean the street canals. I never got any feedback from the city as to whether they came or not. Either way the neighbourhood still stinks so even if they came, it didn't help. We live in a quiet residential area where people go for strolls and kids play on the street. It is such a pity that we have to constantly breathe in this horrible smell. And as a side note- has anybody ever looked at the effect of this on our health??

CBC's Leah Hendry followed up and spoke with locals about their frustrations. 

“It comes out from the floor, all around the toilet…you don’t even have to come into the bathroom. In the morning I come down the stairs and right away I know it’s going to be a bad day,” Choltus said.

“It’s like we’re smelling manure. It’s awful,” added resident IrianaPietrantonio.

“Neighbours of mine that have been here over 25 years said they’ve complained about it and the city doesn’t do much.”

Residents say they’ve tried calling public works over and over, and occasionally crews come out to clean up the sewer gutters, but the sewage stench always returns a few days later.

St-Léonard mayor Michel Bissonnet told CBC he has never heard about the problem before.

He said he plans to report it to the public works department Tuesday and let Choltus know if they find anything.

But as the Nov. 3 municipal elections draw near, residents are getting impatient.

“It’s unacceptable. We pay our taxes and the sewer should be clean and smell decent, so kids could play outside too,” resident Alex Moscato said.

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