Safe water in sight for Green Maple Hill residents
Residents in the Green Maple Hill area of Saint-Lazare could have relief in the form of drinkable water sometime this week after living for the past two years with a boil water advisory.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Town of Saint-Lazare said Quebec’s Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs could issue a certificate this week allowing the new well begin sending fresh water to Green Maple Hill homes.
“First, the owner (of the well) has to disinfect all of the pipes in the road in the aqueduct system and then they have to take some (water) samples and make some tests,” said a municipal employee, who did not want his name used in print.
That day will not come soon enough for determined residents who mounted demonstrations and took municipal and government officials to task for not supplying drinkable water. Though those living in the Saint-Lazare area were often caught in the middle of an it’s-not-my-job battle, they never let up in making the lack of safe drinking water everyone’s problem.
They were rewarded last month, however, when the province issued a permit for the construction of a new artisanal water well to service the immediate area.
And the residents say they’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep the new water safe, going so far as to agree to not use fertilizers or pesticides near the well so as to not contaminate the ground above the well.
The Green Maple Hill section of SaintLazare in one of the largest of several residential areas in town serviced by private wells. In the Green Maple Hill case, the contaminated well is owned by Roland Bédard, who charges residents close to $250 a year for water service. Bédard also owns the new well.
The problems began two years ago, in August 2010, when E. coli was found in the water and a boil water advisory was posted.