Green Guide

Quebec asks for notification of contamination of shared lake

Posted October 12, 2020 2:23 p.m. EDT

— Quebec officials are asking Vermont to notify them of any contamination in a cross-border lake following reports of a sewage leak in September.

Lake Memphremagog stretches across the Canadian border and is a reservoir that supplies drinking water to 150,000 people in the province of Quebec.

In late September, Newport City reported it had found a sewage leak from a pump station by the edge of the lake and reported it to the state, the Caledonian Record reported Sunday.

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation sends alerts via text and email about sewage leaks or overflows, but their counterparts in Quebec were not signed up to receive them. Instead, conservationists in Vermont notified their contacts across the border, who then raised questions with Canadian officials, the newspaper reported.

“The first step is to get stakeholders in the area to sign up for these alerts,” Amy Polaczyk of Vermont's Department of Environmental Conservation told the newspaper. She said the state was taking this issue seriously.

The sewage leak in Newport City was smaller than initially reported and in all cases, would not have endangered people relying on the lake for drinking water, the newspaper reported.

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