Thanks to a broken valve.
In a press release on Sunday, April 10, Quebec City informed the public that "due to the thaw period, combined with Saturday's rainfall, the 2.4 m x 2.4 m valve in question, which controls the wastewater inflow, broke in the closed position."
The broken valve was a structure located 30 feet in the ground and was filled with sewage.
"Currently, the City is funnelling 21,000 cubic metres per hour of wastewater into the river," the City wrote on Sunday. The valve breakage began on Saturday night, so there were 21,000,000 litres of sewage going into the St. Lawrence River every hour for approximately an entire day.
Quebec City confirmed that it contacted the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change as soon as the City became aware of what was happening and said crews were on the scene to monitor the situation. A scuba diver was even brought in to move the valve and try to open it, according to the press release.
On Monday morning, the City provided an update to the public, saying that the wastewater treatment capacity of its west station had been restored since late Sunday evening at 11 p.m.
In a press release, we're told that "the diver completed the work to change a piece of the 2.4 m x 2.4 m wall valve that controls the wastewater inlet. The valve had broken in the closed position."
So, by Monday morning, the wastewater plant was back in business and restored.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.