WASKAGANISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILE

Prepared by: Cameron McLean, LEA

DRINKING WATER SOURCE

We are lucky in Waskaganish to get our drinking water directly from the clean unpolluted waters of the Rupert River. A water intake facility is approximately 5 km upstream, above the first rapids so that the tide does not affect it.

DRINKING WATER TREATMENT AND DISTRIBUTION

The water is pumped from the Rupert River for approximately 5 km to the water filtration plant. Then the water is treated and filtered then chlorinated. From there, the water is pumped into the water system for the community.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT

The wastewater treatment for Waskaganish has two flyte stations, one lower for the older section of town, and one upper for the newer section. These direct the sewage to the lagoons for treatment. We have three aerated lagoons which facilitate the decomposition of material by microorganisms. The treated water is discharged into the river.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

In Waskaganish, we collect the waste with our large garbage truck, which compacts the garbage. The truck then goes to the community dump located around 16 km away where it is usually burned.

There is a program that diverts hazardous waste from the community dump. Batterieis of all sizes are collected for storage, to be shipped for recycling in the future. We have a fluorescent light bulb crusher that safely crushes them for future shipment, and we have an aerosol spray can puncture machine that destroys the aerosol can and captures the contaminants in a filter.

ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY PLAN

Our plan follows the Red Albert book that Indian Affairs perpared for the communities, outlining the procedures to follow and emergency response numbers. The Code of Practice also contains pertinent information. Recently an environmental emergency plan for the airport was created.

COMMUNITY-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

The annual spring cleanup is the most involved program where a total clearnup happens in the village, giving the community a fresh look. Summer students also help by doing touch ups during the summer. Recently, ski trails were cut around the community to encourage outdoor activity and fitness.

ASPECTS OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT THAT MAKE OUR COMMUNITY UNIQUE

Our location on Rupert Bay is a special place where the last of the largest pure free flowing rivers of Quebec still end their timeless journey to the sea.