West Quebec mayors have stepped back from a planned septic treatment plant beside the Gatineau River north of Wakefield, Que.

The MRC des Collines informed the community at a meeting Thursday night it was backing away from the three-year-old plan.

Tamara Tarasoff said the fight to keep the plant off the Gatineau had consumed her life for three years. 


Residents in west Quebec who swim in the Gatineau River had expressed concern about having a septic treatment facility upriver. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

"There is the expression you can't fight city hall right? But you can fight city hall," said Tarasoff.

"It's a fantastic feeling, actually... unleash what's been pent up over the past three years," she said.

The municipalities in the region had looked into the proposed site near the town of Farrelton, Que., after Gatineau announced it would no longer be accepting septic waste from outside municipalities.

The MRC des Collines communities had been sending their waste east to a plant near Cheneville, but believed they need a more central location as a long-term solution, said La Peche mayor Robert Bussière.

New proposed plant in Pontiac

They dropped the plan, he said, when a new proposed plant near Portage-du-Fort in Pontiac, beside the Ottawa River, became an option.

Bussière told All in a Day's Alan Neal the plan now is for western communities to send their waste there, while eastern communities continue to send their septic waste to Cheneville.

Bussière said the proposed western plant is in an industrial area where few people live.

Dany Sivyer helped fight the proposed Wakefield plant and said now he will help Tarasoff keep an eye on the new one to make sure it is done right.

"Well now it's going into the Ottawa River and upstream from Ottawa," he said. "It's where you get your drinking water down there."

Bussière disputed that any of the proposed plants were not safe and environmentally acceptable.

"There is no ministry of environment that would approve technologies that don't work," he said.