Citizens will be deprived of drinking water for a year

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The inhabitants of a village in the Beauce region will still be private for one year of clean drinking water after a contamination which would have made more than 300 citizens sick last summer, and whose source remains unknown.

“All we can do is wait to build a plant for the chlorination “, explains in a tone resigned André Gagnon, mayor of Saint-Bernard.

In July, no fewer than 21 cases of infection with a bacterium, including five infants under the age of 2 years, have been served on the public health Directorate (DSP) of Chaudière-Appalaches, which has triggered an investigation.

Source unknown

It revealed 317 cases of gastroenteritis in the municipality in which the drinking water system serves 800 people.

Since then, it is recommended at all times to the citizens of St. Bernard to boil drinking water before consuming.

Failing to find the origin of the mysterious contamination, only the establishment of an effective system of water treatment may allow residents to drink tap water, said the assistant to the director of public Health in Chaudière-Appalaches, Julie Lambert.

This may take even one year, rabies the mayor Gagnon. It is all the more indignant that the complete survey of the part of the ministry of the Environment has not enabled us to find the source of the problem.


This has not prevented the ministry to suggest the lifting of the boil water after the implementation of several measures, including more frequent sampling of the water system, one can read in the document obtained by the means of the Law of access to information.

A spokesman for the department confirmed that the water of Saint-Bernard was consistent with its regulations, but that it was the DSP the choice of the lifting of the boil. The organization has refused to do so.

“It is not possible to demonstrate beyond doubt that these measures have helped to resolve the issue” may be, grants the department in an opinion dated October 30.

“The problem is that people drink the water anyway [despite the opinion of a boil], and therefore the day where we will have to issue a boil to a true contamination, they do not we will believe more,” says the mayor Gagnon.

Long time

Meanwhile, he would like to see the different ministries involved in the folder grow for the plant project of chlorination means the update as quickly as possible given the urgency of the situation.

“We want the books to be well made, but it would also like it to be prioritized for it to advance more quickly,” says also Mr. Gagnon.