11/13/2015 14:58 EST | Updated 11/13/2016 00:12 EST

Montreal begins receiving water sample results from St. Lawrence sewage discharge

Montreal officials say they will start receiving data today from the first water samples taken after sewers began diverting raw sewage directly into the St. Lawrence River.

The head of the city's waste water management department said workers will also take water samples as far as 80 kilometres downstream from Montreal island discharge points.

Richard Fontaine says samples will start coming in on an ongoing basis to allow the city to compare water quality levels before, during and after the end the discharge period, which is scheduled to end at the latest Tuesday.

The city began dumping eight billion litres of raw sewage into the river to access and perform critical repair work on the support arches of a major sanitary sewer as well as relocate a snow chute.

Mayor Denis Coderre said today 34 of 56 deteriorated support arches have already been removed and work is progressing well.

The city says it will also start taking samples of discharge points located near heavy industrial sites to measure industrial waste toxicity levels.

The Canadian Press