Montreal

Quebec City repairs valve at water treatment plant, halting raw sewage flow into St. Lawrence

Some 21,000 cubic metres of raw sewage had been flowing untreated into the river every hour on Saturday.

21,000 cubic metres of sewage flowed untreated into river every hour on Saturday

Officials in Quebec City say the plant is expected to resume operations at full capacity today. (Israel Tanguay/Radio-Canada)

Emergency repairs in one of Quebec City's two wastewater treatment plants have succeeded in stopping the release of untreated sewage into the St. Lawrence River.

Some 21,000 cubic metres of raw sewage had been flowing untreated into the river every hour since Saturday night because of a broken valve.

Late yesterday, an underwater diver working in the tunnel filled with wastewater managed to make repairs, allowing the treatment plant to resume operating at about 60 per cent capacity. It's expected to be back at full capacity today.

In a news release Sunday, the city said the melting snow and heavy rains caused the valve to break in the closed position Saturday night at the western water treatment plant, located in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood. 

The wall valve, which controls the sewage inlet, was in a flooded section of the treatment plant 30 feet below ground.

The valve broke Saturday night at a sewage treatment plant located in the west of Quebec City. (Carl Boivin/Radio-Canada)

The city said it informed the Ministry of the Environment of the incident as soon as it was made aware of it. 

Officials are asking for the collaboration of Quebec City residents, telling them not to flush baby wipes or sanitary napkins down the toilet.

With files from Radio-Canada

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