Running water begins to return to normal in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

By The Canadian Press

The drinking water supply is on the way to being restored to all of the 26,000 addresses that were deprived of it for around 72 hours after a major water main break earlier this week, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, in the Montérégie.

The city announced late Thursday evening that its “final step in the plan to restore drinking water distribution, i.e. to restore service to the aqueduct network (…) has begun”, in the west shore sectors of Saint-Luc, L’Acadie and part of Saint-Jean.

“Over the next few hours, the public will see a gradual increase in pressure in homes, businesses and industries,” the municipality said in a press release.

During this period, residents are asked to limit their water consumption, and to postpone the use of their washing machines and dishwashers until later on Friday, “to avoid overloading the network”, the city said.

A precautionary boil-water advisory is also still in effect for the West Shore.

The city warns that “several factors make the return to service stage unpredictable, since the water system may have been weakened by the numerous valve manipulations carried out over the past 72 hours”.

Half of the municipality’s population of around 100,000 was left without drinking water following a major water main break at the intersection of Saint-Jacques and Caldwell streets on Monday.

The city explained that “a junction broke on a 750-millimeter-diameter water main that supplies the northern part” of its territory, but did not specify the exact cause.

In addition to homes, businesses and shops, schools and the Haut-Richelieu hospital were also affected by the water cut.

The hospital continued to be supplied during the repair work, thanks to the establishment of a “water corridor”, although water pressure was not optimal, according to municipal officials.

Firefighters remain on site “as a precautionary measure with a tanker in the event of an unforeseen drop in pressure”, the city said.

A refill point for free water remains open until noon on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Dec. 1, 2023.

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