NEWS

St-Rémi Boil-Water Advisory Going On Six Months

08/09/2015 04:31 EDT | Updated 08/09/2016 05:59 EDT
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DIGITAL IMAGE-12/04/2000-WALKERTON WATER 1-Mrs. Anna Errington, a twenty year resident of Walkerton, says she and her husband, Everett will drink Walkerton's water once again tomorrow if the boil water advisory is lifted - but for tonight, she's still pouring drinking water froma bottle.(PHOTO BY PETER POWER/TORONTO STAR) (Photo by Peter Power/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
About 5,000 people living in St-Rémi on Montreal's South Shore are fed up with having to boil their drinking water.

They've been doing it for the past six months, and may have to continue doing so until December.

It began when the municipality dug a well to increase the area's water-volume capacity, said St-Rémi mayor Sylvie Gagnon-Breton.

The town needed more water to serve its growing population, she said.

In February, a water-quality test showed the presence of fecal coliform. Tests since then haven't shown any contaminants — but the municipality had to agree to install a water-treatment system before lifting any boil-water advisory as a condition of building the new well.

The small town is working on the $500,000-water treatment facility, but until it's ready, the advisory will remain in place.

Resident Ginette Chouinard buys bottled water rather than boil tap water.

"You need bottled water to brush your teeth, rinse vegetables and fruit. I hope they reduce our taxes," Chouinard said.

Sadet Karakus works at Pizza Mamo in St-Rémi. He's had to spend a considerable amount of time boiling water in order to do pretty much everything at the pizzeria — from making dough to washing vegetables to brewing a pot of coffee.

Karakus said the restaurant doesn't even provide customers with glasses of water anymore.

"The customer, he eat the food, he asks for water, I can't give the water because if something happens my insurance is going to be up, I say I can't give water," Karakus said. "It's crazy."