Montreal

Damaged infrastructure, poor design caused Longueuil diesel leak: Environment Quebec

Quebec’s environment ministry says the Longueuil diesel spill started with a leak in the underground tank that fuels the water treatment centre’s back-up generator.

Quebec environment ministry says underground tank leaky, sewer lines cracked

Officials said citizens' tap water should taste and smell normal again over the course of the weekend, and mobile laboratories will remain in place until further notice for further sampling. (CBC)

Quebec’s environment ministry says the Longueuil diesel spill started with a leak in the underground tank that fuels the water treatment centre’s back-up generator.

The diesel leaked into a sewer that runs above the drinking water reservoir.

The ministry says that because the sewer line also had a crack in it, the fuel made its way into the reservoir.

A water advisory was first put in place late Thursday morning — one day after 28,000 litres of diesel spilled into the St. Lawrence River.

Some residents still wary

Some residents of Montreal's South Shore say they are still wary of drinking tap water, even though officials have declared the water supply free of harmful levels of diesel contamination.  

The two-day non-consumption order was lifted Friday evening, however, people were still lining up before dawn Saturday morning to pick up free bottled water being distributed throughout Longueuil.

Some complain that even after letting their taps run, they can still detect a diesel smell in the water.

Bottled water will also continue to be distributed at daycare centres and chronic-care residences until further notice.

"This water — despite possible odours, and despite the taste — is good for consumption,” said Longueuil mayor Caroline St-Hilaire.

“I would call it less of a 'crisis' than I would an ‘exceptional situation.’ It’s rare for us to see something like this.”

City of Longueuil officials issued a non-consumption advisory in the communities of Saint-Hubert, Vieux-Longueuil, Boucherville and Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville.

Officials said citizens' tap water should taste and smell normal again over the course of the weekend, and mobile laboratories will remain in place until further notice for further sampling.

Some South Shore residents complain that even after letting taps run, the water still has a diesel smell. (Radio-Canada)

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