The pandemic is delaying the replacement of the turnouts in the lead in Quebec city

La pandémie retarde le remplacement des branchements en plomb à Québec

The pandemic has delayed the work on the turnouts in the lead : the City of Quebec will achieve half of his goal of a hundred replacements in 2020.

The City of Québec had announced in January the outline of his action plan to rid its network of the last connections of lead that remain. It is a government obligation.

This year, the municipality planned to replace a hundred connections on the 8000 that it is estimated on the territory, in buildings constructed prior to 1980. However, it has reduced this target to one in fifty, said the mayor, Régis Labeaume. “We had to do the 100 this year. This is a pilot project that we did this year to see if our ability to detect is always good, if the statistical average is maintained.”

On the other hand, the pandemic has disrupted the hiring plan of the City, who wanted to welcome a dozen new technicians this year.

“This year, with the COVID, it was very, very turned upside down. We had a lot of difficulty, and especially to be able to give with assurance, the confirmation that they could have a job this summer. This year, we hired four resources more than what it was at the level of our [staff] internally,” said Christine Beaulieu chemist in the service of water treatment and chief of the laboratory of the City.

However, it is a pilot year, where it initiates the program. Régis Labeaume says that”we will be able, if all goes well, to do 1000 connections per year.” You give yourself 10 years to do all your work.

The City will forward its programme by presenting to the council on Monday its proposed regulations. It provides that the owners in that one detects a connecting lead will have four years to carry out the work to remove it. They are mandatory under provincial law and will cost on average 5500 $. They are the expense of the owners if the connection is located in the private portion of the water pipeline and the costs of the City in the public part.

The owners will enjoy a grant of up to a maximum of $ 2500. For the residual, they will be able to spread their payments over 10 years from their account tax-free if the initial amount of work is greater than $ 5,000. The rate of interest usual of 7 per cent will apply, however.

The owners recalcitrant will receive fines if they do not bend to the rules. These could go up to$ 2000 for an individual and $ 4000 for a corporation, in the case of a second offense. The City reserves the right to perform the work and pass the bill on to the owners.

The City injects this year of $ 1 million. “It is expected a sum much more generous for the next year for the operation”, has informed the councillor responsible for the file, Suzanne Verreault. The mayor believes that the programme will cost a total of $ 20 million in constant dollars.

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