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

R. Denis Dubé: Independent candidate for Councillor Ward 2 (Quyon)

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I am R. Denis Dubé, and I am very pleased to present myself as an Independent candidate for Councillor Ward 2 (Quyon) municipal election of Nov. 3rd 2013.

In the summer of 2008, I chose to live in the Municipality of Pontiac. I moved into my house on Egan Street and during renovations, I met my neighbors, residents, worked with local contractors and businesses and consulted with employees of the municipality. During these exchanges, I have met a multitude of remarkable people. This confirmed that I had made the right choice to move my home and workshop here.

After 32 years of a career in . . .

A Message from Eddie McCann

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Hello everyone,

I am proud to be running for re-election as mayor of this municipality. Over the last two terms we have made huge gains in moving this area forward and making this a municipality where people are happy to live and raise their families in a rural setting.

I first ran for council in 1980 and this election may be the most serious as ratepayers have an important question to answer this year.

La ferme Lavender Ridge de Luskville présentera quelques vins, produits comestibles au Casino du Lac-Leamy

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Les épicuriens et gastronomes sont conviés au 17e salon de la gastronomie, des vins et des spiritueux de Gatineau, le Rendez-vous des saveurs du Casino du Lac-Leamy du 18 au 20 octobre.

La ferme Lavender Ridge de Luskville, mieux connue pour ses produits de beauté à base de lavande, présentera quelques vins de son cru.

En plus des vins, Lavender Ridge propose des produits comestibles faits de ...

200th Anniversary of Chief Tecumseh

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October 5 was the anniversary of the Battle of the Thames in southern Ontario.  During the battle the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was killed, trying to repel an American invasion into Canada.  He was a truly great warrior, leader and spokesperson for First Nations people during the early part of the nineteenth century. He died defending our country.

To learn more about this forgotten figure click on the link below:

http://allangregg.com/tecumseh/

 

Roger Larose annonce sa candidature à la mairie de la municipalité de Pontiac… C’est le temps !

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Ce fut un honneur de servir les citoyens de Pontiac comme conseiller. Ensemble, nous avons accompli plusieurs réalisations au cours de mes 11 ans d’échevinage, mais beaucoup reste à faire. C’est le temps pour un changement. ‘‘Je souhaite que, par mes efforts, j’ai gagné votre confiance et je sollicite votre soutien pour un mandat pour devenir votre nouveau maire.’’ ajoute le conseiller Larose.

Au cours de ses services au conseil, Larose a été un fier défenseur responsable à l’égard des dépenses publiques, du développement économique et de la protection environnementale, il s’est toujours fait un devoir d’être un porte-parole impartial pour tous les citoyens, même de ceux résidant hors de son propre quartier...

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