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Wastewater In Canada

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Montreal plans to shut down a pipe, which feeds water from the sewers into a treatment plant. Therefore the city’s strategy is to dump the eight billion liters of raw sewage into the St Lawrence River [1]. The procedure is going against the fisheries act, it will have negative consequences for communities downstream, and it will also damage the river’s ecosystem. In brief that scheme has several negative impacts on the river’s ecosystem and the city should invest in alternative procedures.

The procedure of dumping mass amounts of wastewater into the river is going against the fisheries act if not given authorization [3]. Environment Canada is researching the implications of the plan and exploring options to prevent this release, while studying
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Dr. Grant Brow who is a Concordia University biologist that specializes in aquatic behavioral and chemical ecology, claims, “The untreated effluent could cause harm to a number of aquatic species”[2]. The fish rely on chemical cues to help it survive, such as finding food, shelter, detecting and avoiding predators. On the other hand, the city’s spokesman Philippe Sabourin, says that “the contamination is not a big concern due to the sheer size of the river and how quickly it flows – at a rate of 6,000 to 7,000 cubic meters a second, compared to the flow rate of the wastewater, expected to be 13 cubic meters a second” [2]. However, it would be devastating if the city proceeds with their plan since the chemical and bacteriological mixture of wastewater must be observed at all times to ensure public health. In wastewater there are oxygen-consuming materials, which needs to be minimized to protect from low dissolved oxygen conditions since it can be harmful to aquatic species [4]. Many nutrients found in wastewater, such as nitrogen and phosphorus must be removed to prevent high level of nutrients, which can cause the ecosystem to have hypoxia and the increase of pollutants in the waterways [4]. The city has examined alternative methods, and the mayor claims that, “They have consulted with experts around the world and that every option has been explored” [5]. The city has probe to put in mobile tanks or installing a $1-billion diversion system to collect the raw sewage and send it to the treatment plant, which would be safer and more ethical
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