Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Fort-Coulonge, no clean water for three months

Zainab Al-Mehdar
Pontiac Oct. 14, 2022
A water advisory was issued in early June in Fort-Coulonge and for almost three months the residents have had to buy or boil water before using it.
THE EQUITY spoke to Mayor Christine Francoeur who explained why it’s been so difficult to repair the water issue in her region.
In June a vital computer part broke. A new one was ordered and was said to arrive in August. Due to some unforeseen delays they didn’t receive the part until September. When it was being installed another piece broke which drove the timeline back in fixing the water system. Since then they received the other part and installed it.
“So what’s happening right now is the water plant has just been brought up to standards and now they have to flush the whole system and then we should be able to have our clear water and drinkable water without having to boil it. But for the moment, everybody still needs to boil their water until it passes all tests,” said Francoeur.
The residents are still not in the clear, but they can be confident that she is doing everything to ensure the residents will be informed as soon as it is safe to drink the water.
“It was receiving the parts. That was the big delay,” she said.
The technicians are currently flushing the system and conducting tests but this process can take up to two weeks until anyone sees clear water. It takes that long because they go sector by sector, conduct tests and when it comes out clean they move on to the next.
This is a difficult time for the residents of Fort-Coulonge, as water is a necessity and having yellowish water come out the tap is unpleasant. Francoeur understands how tough it has been as she too has had to buy her water and boil it before using it.
“I understand everybody but like we’ve always said, our system is getting older. This is bound to happen once in a while. Unfortunately, we had two pieces this summer,” said Francoeur.
“I would just like to say thank you to the population of Fort-Coulonge and Mansfield for being so patient with us. I know it’s hard on everybody. With all the prices going up and everything and needing to buy water, it was an extra expense. I am very sorry about that. But it’s a computer there is nothing else we can do. Except to replace the part fix it and that’s it,” said Francoeur.


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