Photo Credit: hans s via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: hans s via Compfight cc

Montreal has a problem:

Routine maintenance gone wrong at one of Montreal’s biggest water filtration plants spurred the largest boil water advisory in the city’s history Wednesday, forcing schools to tape their water fountains closed, cafés to boil water for six minutes and water-based businesses like fruit-drink maker Liquid Nutrition to close up shop for the day. In total, 1.3 million of the island’s 1.8 million residents were affected.

Officials with the City of Montreal’s water department said the 24-hour boil water advisory was just a precautionary measure, as the contamination was likely limited to non-toxic sediment in the water and probably wasn’t tainted with bacteria.

Source: Boil-water advisory widens for Montreal area.

This is the second major infrastructure issue that Montreal has faced in under 24 hours, the National Post states that the previous evening, the city’s metro system suffered a complete shutdown at the height of rush hour because of a computer problem.

Infrastructure issues can happen anywhere and there are safeguards in place for most issues, (the boil water advisory is likely just a prudent cautionary measure), but these current events add to the already long list of critical infrastructure issues that Montreal faces:

Does Montreal have a plan to address the long-term sustainability of infrastructure?

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.