Other than being an eyesore, there’s no health hazard to the rusty water coming out of faucets in Lachute.
Nonetheless, the city will be investing almost $5 million to filter out iron and magnesium from its water distribution system.
“The underground source where we draw the water from has changed over time,” says Carl Péloquin, mayor of Lachute. “Now there’s a higher amount of iron and magnesium than before.”
He adds the problem affects only a small sector of the overall system.
When the city first installed the pumping station in 2013, it had a problem with hard water: water with a high mineral content. Péloquin says that’s been dealt with, but in the past year there’s been discoloration in certain sectors in the distribution system.
To rectify the situation, the city is looking at two potential filtration systems—one using greensand and another using a coal derivative called anthracite.
In early summer, a mini-system of each method was installed at the pumping station to determine which is better suited for Lachute.
“The systems are only treating one or two per cent of all the water going through the station,” says Péloquin. “We aren’t servicing all of Lachute with them.”
He adds that the city will likely only make a decision this autumn on which system to use.
The city will take out a loan for the overhaul’s estimated cost of $4.8 million. Péloquin says the city will be applying to have half of the project paid for through a provincial government grant.
At the council meeting in June, Péloquin said the investment is to “tackle this problem once and for all.”