City loses almost a third of its drinking water

montreal-produire-eau-potable-revientDespite the huge investment to repair its old pipes, Montreal continues to lose almost a third of its drinking water, reveals the most recent balance sheet of the metropolis. The amount of water lost is such that we could fill 100 times the Olympic Stadium. These results find that the city is so far short of the target set by the government to reduce to a maximum of 20% leakage rates in 2017. Explanations.


The government adopted in 2011 a Quebec Strategy for Drinking Water economy. A reduction in consumption was imposed after it was found that Quebec cities produce 50% more water than citizens of Ontario. Montreal’s balance sheet on the use of drinking water in 2015 – presented to elected Wednesday but made public only late yesterday afternoon – shows that the leaks continue to weigh on the balance sheet of the metropolis .

180 of 600

Montreal assesses that the leaks have cost him the equivalent of 180 of the 600 million liters of drinking water produced by its six factories. If we could recover this amount of water would fill 100 times the Olympic Stadium. Stable in recent years, the loss of 30% is still an improvement over the 40% recorded in 2001. “But there is little chance we reach the target of 20% over the next year, “laments Sylvain Ouellet, Project advisor Montreal.



The number of repairs to the network is relatively stable in recent years. Montreal said he scrutinized last year nearly 86% of its laterals in 2015, which allowed him to discover 400 “no apparent leaks.” To reduce the loss of water, the city installed in 2015 no less than 675 sensors to automatically detect leaks in downtown Montreal. Thus 46 km of pipes that are monitored day and night. “The system should allow detection of leaks in near real time and transmit the daily information about the location of leaks. This will allow earlier intervention for repairs, “says City.


49 km

In addition to repairs, the City of Montreal said he replaced a little over 1% of its lines in 2015, 49 km. This is slightly lower than the 53 km replaced in 2014, but well above the average posted from 2006 to 2013. For 10 years, Montreal has replaced 352 km of pipelines, slightly less than 10% of its network.



If Montreal is far from reaching its goal of water leaks remains however that the metropolis has already reached the second main objective of the Strategy. It invited the City to reduce by 20% the amount of drinking water produced per citizen in 2017 compared to 2001. Already in 2015, Montreal had managed to cut more than a quarter of water production per citizen. The metropolis has produced last year 823 liters of drinking water per day by Montrealers against 1120 liters in 2001. “The immense efforts of our administration to return to levels our water infrastructure are paying off,” was welcomed Chantal Rouleau, elected to his case manager of Coderre administration.


Compare water production month by month reveals the extent of the reduction of drinking water consumption. In 2015, it was in August that demand has been strongest while six plants produced 55 million cubic meters of water. Conversely, in November 2015 recorded the lowest consumption, with 45 million cubic meters. These results are significantly lower than those observed 15 years ago. In August 2001, Montrealers had consumed 74 million cubic meters of water. The lowest month was February with 56 million. In short, the months in 2015 with the strongest consumer still had a result below the month having submitted the lowest consumption in 2001.


$ 360

The bill to produce drinking water increased slightly in 2015. Montreal evaluates it cost $ 360 per citizen, against $ 354 last year. It thus amounts to about $ 1 per day per citizen to produce drinking water. The total bill was $ 630.5 million. This amount includes all costs associated with the replacement, compensation of employees and the operation of equipment, both for the aqueduct for the sewer.



Montreal continues with the installation of water meters in companies and institutions in its territory. To date, just under a third of the 23 000 targeted schools by this measure were provided with one of these devices. At this rate, the city estimates that all companies and institutions will be provided with a meter in 2022.

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