Sunday, August 9, 2009

From the Under Montreal blog

We posted one of this sites stories a while back,about under the Acqaduc , it was a good story,here's a little more from the Under Montreal site:


Montreal’s Wastewater Treatment, Part I - A History of Problems

Grit removal tanks of Montreal's wastewater treatment plant.

Montreal’s wastewater treatment plant can be found at the far east end of the island in Pointe Aux Trembles. It’s the largest in North America and ranks the third largest in the world- capable of handling 32 cubic metres of water a second.  Raw sewage (usually) ends up here via a network of deep-level tunnels referred to as interceptors. These interceptors form a ring around the island, collecting and distributing wastewater to the plant before it has a chance to enter the surrounding rivers. To get a better sense of how the interceptors work, you can have a look at the entry I wrote  here.

Montreal's wastewater treatment plant as seen from Microsoft Live Maps.

While it’s an impressive system in terms of its scope and capacity, the treatment process itself leaves much to be desired. In fact, it’s actually one of the worst in Canada. A national “report card” issued by the Sierra Club in 2004 gave the city’s treatment process a grade of F-. The only other city to receive a grade worse than Montreal was Victoria, a place which doesn’t even have a treatment process in place yet.

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Montreal Waterworks, Part I - The Aqueduct

Montreal's aqueduct canal at the Crawford Street bridge in Verdun.

So far, most of my entries have dealt with Montreal’s sewers as its the one aspect of the underground that I’ve spent the most time exploring. During my time looking into that particular system it’s been hard to avoid the city’s waterworks, both during my time traveling around (and under) and at the City Archives. While the two systems serve entirely different purposes, they still share a few things in common and often intersect in a number of different ways.

While one can’t exactly travel through the waterworks system to the same extent that you can the sewers, there are still a number of different components that can be peered into and occasionally entered.

But before we do that, a little bit of history.

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Welcome to Construction Season

Posted on April 27, 2009
Filed Under: Misc, Storm Drains
Tags: , , ,

Decarie Raimbault sewer excavation, 1958. (Photo source: City of Montreal Archives)

So  “construction season” started a few days ago here in Montreal, and with it came the City’s announcement that they’ll be spending a record $608 million this year on road and underground infrastructure projects. According to a CBC report, roughly half of that amount will be spent on sewers, but I’m guessing this will mostly involve replacing watermains.  Journalists have this habit of referring to any underground pipe as being a sewer regardless of its function.

Construction crews have been busy ripping up the asphalt of the streets for awhile now, replacing the century-old iron mains with what looks to be  PVC pipe. It’s for this reason that portions of Notre Dame and Maisonneuve are currently closed off to general traffic. I’m sure overhauling some of  the older brick sewers is next on the agenda. Any piece of infrastructure that’s approaching 150 years old is bound to make any civil works engineer nervous. While I insist the old brick sewers are still in reasonably good shape, maybe the people who get paid to inspect them for a living have a better idea as to what’s on the verge of collapsing and what isn’t. Or maybe it’s just a make-work thing. Who knows?

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1 comment:

Les F said...

A few good stories there: HF&RV