North Hatley, Que. boil water advisory lifted 12 years later
Municipality recently opened long-awaited $11M water filtration plant
After 12 years under a boil water advisory, the residents of North Hatley, Que. can now turn on their taps and enjoy a fresh glass of water.
At the time, the fatal E. coli water contamination in Walkerton, Ont. was still fresh in the minds of many and the government quickly tightened up drinking water restrictions.
Historically, the municipality had drawn its drinking water from the Massawippi Lake and treated it only with chlorine.
"That was no longer sufficient with the new norms to be tighter and having less health risk, they wanted us to build a filtration plant," the mayor of North Hatley, Michael Page, told Quebec AM.
Provincial authorities found a potentially toxic blue algae in the water and drinking water advisory was issued in 2003.
The boil water advisory affected around 1,000 residents of the town in Quebec's eastern townships.
In 2013, after years of negotiations with the provincial and federal government over funding, North Hatley started construction on a new water filtration plant.
Initially slated to open last December, complications from a harsh winter pushed back that start date to August.
The final price tag for the plant is expected to be around $11 million, about 30 per cent of which will be paid by the municipality.
Page said some residents, himself included, did drink the tap water from time to time while the advisory was in place, but no reports of illness came in.