Sous toutes réserves – Without prejudice
Liens / Links
BCA – dossier Meadowbrook
2011-07-14 – West Island Gazette – Kirkland residents refuse to foot bill for sewer pipe repairs – City’s next move unknown
2011-01-28 – Cité Nouvelles – Toilette, Ruisseau et Contamination
2011-01-08 – West End Times – Sewage Leaking into Stream in Kirkland
Meadowbrook creek pollution – Kirkland & Beaconsfield
The following is a history of the water pollution problem in Meadowbrook creek.
The water pollution problem originates in Kirkland where mainly raw sewage dumped into the Meadowbrook creek and into the lake, is due to what is called « cross connection » for the most part, meaning that pipes were mixed.
Kirkland homes have 2 pipes running from the street, one would normally be connected to the french drain and will serve to evacuate any rain water to the lake (through the Meadowbrook creek) without being treated, while the second pipe used for domestic sewage should normally be connected to the sewer system for treatment at the Montreal Treatment Plant, in the east end.
One other possible cause of pollution could the installation of a new toilet in the basement of the home after construction and having connected the toilet drain pipe to the wrong connections.
Kirkland went through a rapid growth in the 70’s and 80’s and maybe there were not enough inspections done before the pipes were buried.
Residents have been told that the pipes might have been of the same size or the same colour, so mistakes did happened and thus makes it difficult to determine who is responsible after so many years?
Extremely high pollution levels have been documented for years by the RSMA program of the city of Montreal and formerly the MUC.
Polluted water from Kirkland flows through Meadowbrook creek often underground as the creek has been canalized and discharges into Lake Saint Louis right beside a public beach, upstream of the Pointe Claire drinking water treatment plant intake.
This problem has been known by local politicians (both Kirkland and Beaconsfield elected officials) for at least 20 years, but no apparent progress has taken place. In 2009 Kirkland did start an inspection programme (a blue dye is flushed through the toilet), 500 homes were visited and 47 were identifed with having a serious problem.
Again this last summer, Kirkland continued with the inspection of various homes, however they would not give us any details or want to start correcting the 47 homes identified.
Over the last decade particularly, we have heard many politicians exhorting the need to take care of our environnment and protecting our waters, but it seems more talk than action for the most part, and taking care of sewage is not pretty and doesn’t bring many votes contrary to cutting ribbons for a new buiding.
There are also other areas on the Montreal Island with crossover pipe connections, other streams or rivers like Anse-À-L’Orme, Riviere-Des-Prairies and St-James creek in Beaconsfield are also being polluted.
Residents are concerned and are asking that work be started to correct the identified problem homes and do some more every year.
We know the problem and we know the solution. In the end it becomes a question of money, who is going to pay? (potentially $5000 per home) so politicians will have to be more creative in proposing a « montage financier » or possible cost-sharing between the various governments and the homeowners. Kirkland just spent nearly 3 millions (with government grants) for a Library extension and a face lift, surely they should be able to find a few hundred thousands dollars to start the cleanup.
The group of residents concerned about the Meadowbrook creek pollution is very small, about 10 people and are all Beaconsfield residents. This group is having difficulties in recruiting Kirkland residents (the vast majority have no clue about this).
Concerned residents have no money to hire a lawyer to bring any court action against Kirkland to get them to clean up their act, since our interpretation is that laws and regulations are being broken.
It is interesting to note that a group of citizens in Val-Morin took an injonction against the City of Sainte-Agathe concerning the pollution of Lac Raymond and that court case could possibly serve as a test case for our own situation.