Montreal

Hudson Acres residents refuse to foot repair bill after 2-year boil-water advisory

Residents in Hudson Acres, an enclave in Vaudreuil-Dorion, say they don’t want to foot the bill for the municipality’s proposed fix for a two-year boil water order.

Vaudreuil-Dorion proposes drilling new well or connecting a new aquaduct to filtration plant to fix problem

Residents of about 100 homes in Hudson Acres have had to boil their water for the last two years after their main water well tested positive for E. coli in 2013. (CBC Archives)

Some people living in Hudson Acres, a residential enclave of about 100 homes in Vaudreuil-Dorion, say they don't want to foot the bill for the municipality's proposed fix for a two-year boil-water order.

They say they should not have pay for a solution because they have paid enough.

"We've paid for the infrastructure. We've paid for the wells. We've paid for the filtration. Now we're being asked to pay again for something else, so we're a little bit concerned," said Troy Olynyk, a father of two children and resident of Hudson Acres.

Residents of Hudson Acres — just off the western tip of the island of Montreal — were forced to use bottled water to tend to their daily needs after the main water well for the area tested positive for E.coli in 2013.

The mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Guy Pilon, said that the delays in rectifying the problem were because of strict government laws that slowed down the examination process.

The city is considering drilling a new well or connecting the Hudson Acres' homes via a new aquaduct to the filtration system in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

Because building a new well would not necessarily prevent the problem from recurring, both Olynyk and Pilon agreed the aqueduct proposal is a better solution.

However, building a pipeline will be costly. Extending a water main over 3.5 kilometres would cost each homeowner $1,003 a year for the next 20 years..

By comparison, installing a new well would cost each Hudson citizen $284 a year for the same time period.

However, the homeowners already pay a water tax of $275 per year, and they say they don't want to pay more.

Pilon said the water tax is not exclusive to Hudson Acres' residents, but to all homeowners in Vaudreuil-Dorion. He also said the water tax is not used to improve the water plant but to fund communication activities that promote environmentally friendly initiatives.

According to Pilon, Vaudreuil-Dorion has already paid $100,000 to resolve Hudson Acres' water problem. In addition, he said, the city is investing $70 million in its water and sewage-treatment plants.

Pilon told CBC Radio One's Daybreak that residents of Hudson Acres are autonomous, and it is the town's responsibility to pay for its own problem.

He said on the one hand, Hudson Acres has nice houses, but on the other, it is part of the countryside so people living in Hudson Acres "have to take care of their own septic field and their own water."

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