Slipping back: background facts

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by: 

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

Signaux d'alerte pour le feu: les panneaux d'avertissement SOPFEU enlevé

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by: 

Kate Aley

translation: 

Guy Faubert

En conduisant ma voiture de Shawville vers Quyon, j'ai remarqué que le panneau d'avertissement pour les dangers du feu avait disparu de l'intersection du chemin Clarendon et de la route 148.  On ne l'a pas enlevé pour une simple réparation, il est bien parti pour de bon.

Smoke signals: fire signs come down across MoP

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by: 

Kate Aley

So.

I was driving from Shawville to Quyon recently and noticed that the fire danger sign at the intersection of Clarendon St. and Hwy. 148 is gone. Not just taken down for repairs. It's gone, gone, gone for good.

Nouveau panneau du Club Lions a fait son apparition

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Image: Kate Aley

Je me pose la question à savoir pourquoi le panneau du Club Lions sur la route 148 est-il en anglais seulement et pourquoi a-t-il été autorisé à être installé seulement en anglais?  À ce que je sache les panneaux sur nos routes provinciales doivent être en français ou bilingue??

The Highway 148 Effect

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We have a smooth, fast highway for a country road. Now, at the end of June, when most roads are still pockmarked after the long winter and the rainy spring, we are a ribbon of road that invites stupidity. Some people blame the road, but it is not the road that is dangerous, it's the drivers. They are in an excessive hurry, they pass on double lines and on blind corners, they are on their phones, they've had a few drinks, they are high, they are possibly not even licensed drivers. 

Dès 2018, des aînés ayant besoin de transports pour recevoir des soins médicaux seront laissés à eux-mêmes partout au Québec

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Pour la municipalité de Pontiac, cela signifie:

  • 60 utilisateurs touchés

  • 1500 transport par année

Ce sera à l'ordre du jour au prochain conseil municipal.


Cantley, jeudi le 29 juin 2017 – La Table autonome des aînés des Collines est sous le choc face à la décision du Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec de ne plus financer les transports effectués par des bénévoles partout au Québec et ce, dès 2018.

In 2018, seniors who need transportation for medical appointments will be left to fend for themselves everywhere in the province of Quebec

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For the Municipality of Pontiac this means:

  • 60 users affected

  • 1500 travels per year

It will be on the next municipal council agenda.


Cantley, Thursday June 29th, 2017 – The Des Collines Seniors’ Roundtable is shocked at the decision of the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec to stop financing transportation provided by volunteers everywhere in the province of Quebec from 2018.

Quyon Maison de la Famille: standing strong and shining brightly

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by: 

Kate Aley

That's about the size of it! Executive Director Catherine Beaudet stretches her arms wide in happiness and gratitude as she describes the past year of events and achievements at the Quyon Maison de la Famille's annual general meeting on June 20.

From left: ED Catherine Beaudet with board members Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert and Sara-Lynn McCann.

The Maison de la Famille de Quyon (MdlFQ) continues to be a remarkable and vital mainstay in this community. In her AGM notes, Beaudet compared the Centre to a lighthouse which stands and shines over the community of Pontiac.

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