Slipping back: background facts

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Kate Aley

Welcome back. While I wait for my file on the accident (December 4) to be retrieved by the MRC des Collines police, I placed calls to two local people, experts on the trucking of manure. For those who are coming in late to this, see my previous "slippery" stories archived here.

First I called a man who owns a business that provides septic tank services among other things. He was particularly helpful and patient, I must say.

He told me that the appearance of septic waste totally depends on how many people use the tank and how often it is emptied: a heavily used tank could contain heavy black solids, a less-used tank would have a lot more watery material. Companies west of Gatineau generally truck the waste to UTEau at the Pontiac Industrial Park situated in the Municipality of Litchfield (often mistakenly identified as being in Portage-du-Fort). Septic waste trucking services based on the other side of Gatineau are more likely to use more locally-based waste treatment sites, except for one in particular that actually owns the UTEau site and so transports waste from the Montebello area across the city to the Pontiac.

When asked about the possibility of a leak, his response was, at first, adamant: it is not possible. The tank must be able to maintain an unbroken vacuum in order for the pump to operate, both to suck up the load and afterwards to discharge it. Later, another thought occurred: if the truck has a release control in the cab, an accidental spill could occur.

Emptying a household septic tank in cold weather is not generally recommended, he said. The bacteria that help consume waste in a septic tank slow down in cold weather. Therefore, if it is emptied in sub-zero temperatures, they could become too cold to be effective. 

Human septic waste is kind of revolting but not actually dangerous, no more dangerous to your health than if you touched your own waste and did not wash your hands. Far more risky is the possibility of a gas build-up in the tank used to transport septic waste:this is a danger only for the operator, of course. Septic waste is treated by raising temperatures to a level that kills pathogens, as with compost. The resulting material can used as a fertilizer for fields, the safety of which is another whole argument.

So, in short, while unlikely that septic sludge was being trucked at this this time of the year and very unlikely that a truck would leak or spill that waste, it is possible.

After this I called another very kind and patient man who was once a pig farmer in this district. I was sure that pig manure was the only kind of animal manure that is stored and transported in a liquid state, but he corrected me.

Dairy cattle manure can be stored in a pit, tank or lagoon and this is transported to fertilize fields in large tanker trailers. However, this is generally done in the spring or early fall: to spread manure on fields after October 1st requires a special permit from the Ministry of the Environment. This is not hard to get, but it's something to avoid having to get, he said.

There are some dairy farms in Luskville; there are no more pig farms here.

Again, in summary, it is unlikely but possible the spill was animal manure.

The culprit was not discovered and is not currently sought by the MTQ.

It remains to be discovered if that person is being sought by the police and, if found, if he or she will be charged. You'll know when I find out.

Drive safely, everyone.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Accident majeur sur la route 148 à Pontiac

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Le conducteur d’une Saturn, un homme de 32 ans de Gatineau, a perdu le contrôle de son véhicule. Il aurait percuté une Honda Accord qui circulait à sens inverse, conduite par une dame de 70 ans de Nepean. La Honda s’est retrouvée à l’envers dans le fossé. Les pompiers ont utilisé des pinces de désincarcération pour extirper la dame. On parle de blessures sérieuses, mais on ne craint pas pour sa vie.

Des affiches in English à Aylmer

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Les dispositions de la Charte de la langue française n'empêchent aucunement l'affichage en anglais - ou dans toute autre langue - pour les messages politiques, ce qui inclut les affiches électorales. L'organisme Impératif français dénonce tout de même l'utilisation de l'expression « for Gatineau » sur certaines affiches du maire sortant.

All-Candidates Meetings

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Mark your calendars for Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 20.

Did you know that 2013 is the year of the voter?

To provide an opportunity to citizens of the Municipality of Pontiac to know more about the candidates who have put their names forward for positions of mayor and councillors, all-candidates meetings are currently being planned for Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 20, 2013.  The meetings will be organized by members of Action Pontiac, along with other partners.

Marcel Lavigne 1930 - 2013

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Marcel est décédé le mercredi 2 octobre 2013, paisiblement entouré des deux femmes de sa vie : son épouse Mariette Labine et sa fille Maryse (Yves Mercier et ses enfants Claudiane et Guillaume).

Il est parti rejoindre ses parents Edmond Lavigne et Corinne Pilon; ses beaux-parents Lionel Labine et Jeannette Lévesque; il laisse dans le deuil son frère Guy (feu Monique Renaud) et sa sœur Claire (André Renaud). L’ont prédécédé, ses frères et sœurs: Rolande (feu Jean-Paul), Rhéal (Denise), René (Jeannette), Donald (Claudette) et Annette (Gilbert).

Il laisse également ses beaux-frères de la famille Labine : Roberge (Feu Annette), Rogathe (Ernestine) et Serge (Catherine), «Flo» : une tante très chère ainsi que de précieux et nombreux neveux, nièces et amis proches.

Marcel prendra son dernier repos dans son cher village de Luskville, aux pieds des montagnes, surplombant les plaines d’Eardley et ses terres.

Collusion en Outaouais... pas seulement à Gatineau

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 Il n'y a pas que la ville de Gatineau qui a été victime de collusion au cours de la dernière décennie en Outaouais... Des petites municipalités de la région n'ont pas été épargnées.

C'est ce que révèlent des documents du Bureau de la concurrence du Canada (BCC) rendus publics par la Cour supérieure du Québec à la suite d'une demande de Québécor Media.

Voir aussi: Conclusion d’une entente pour préserver la concurrence entre les services d’élimination des déchets dans l’Ouest du Québec

Quebec’s anticorruption unit investigating contracts between school board and construction company

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Western Quebec School Board Director of Buildings and Transportation Colin O’Shea has been placed on “administrative leave” with pay, as Quebec’s Permanent Anticorruption Unit (UPAC) investigates a link between the school board and 31 contracts worth $33 million awarded to GMR Construction and Toitures Marcel Raymond over the past 10 years. The majority of these contracts were signed by O’Shea himself.

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