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Reducing CSOs and Giving the River Back to the Public: Innovative Combined Sewer Overflow Control and Riverbanks Restoration of the St-Charles River in Quebec City

Written by Olivier Fradet, Martin Pleau, Ph.D., Christiane Marcoux

IWA World Water Exhibition – September 19-24, 2010

After the construction of its wastewater treatment plants, the City of Quebec began to implement overflow control in wet weather to ultimately meet the effluent discharge objectives, i.e. no more than two overflows per summer season in the St. Lawrence River and no more than four in the St-Charles River.

After several years of studies to determine which management strategies would best suit the purpose, and to propose optimum solutions, a first project to implement optimal and predictive management in real time, called « Pilot », was created in 1999. Construction in multiple phases soon followed and the work was completed in the fall of 2009. As a result, requirements with regard to environmental rejects were met in two sectors, namely the St-Charles River and the Jacques-Cartier Beach, and aquatic recreational activities could resume. Meanwhile, the City also worked at giving back access to the water courses to the public by developing sites at the Jacques-Cartier Beach and in the Bay of Beauport, and by rehabilitating the banks of the St-Charles River.

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