Homeowners in Saguenay distraught over the contamination of their homes

The presence of hydrocarbons was reported Tuesday on the grounds of a residence on rue Mézy, in Chicoutimi-Nord.

In mid-April, Sylvain Tremblay and his wife, the owners of the affected house, suffered water damage. They hired a contractor to redo the drain, but two weeks ago they got a second nasty surprise.

“When we had to dig to redo the foundation drain, that’s when we discovered that it was not nearly contaminated,” said Mr. Tremblay.

The contractor quickly smelled an odor of hydrocarbons. He therefore stopped the work and immediately alerted the City of Saguenay and the Ministry of the Environment.

“It smelled except that it does not smell in the house, added the spouse of Sylvain Tremblay. If we had never had the excavation done, we might not have known about it.”

In 2010, houses in the neighborhood were affected by the discovery of a gas leak from a service station on boulevard Sainte-Geneviève.


The couple believe that a similar situation is the root of their problem. According to them, the contamination could come from an old service station which made the headlines in May 1977 for this type of flow.

In addition, the owners had pipes removed in 2008, which they believe to have been sensors, at the entrance to their property.

“We would never have bought the house if we had known there was an environmental problem,” said Mr. Tremblay. It certainly comes from a place. We didn’t put that. The City has no history. They know nothing about this. So we are the ones caught up in the problem.”

The Ministry of the Environment took samples to establish the type of contamination. Saguenay firefighters ensured the safety of the premises and a city representative also went there to make observations.

“He said before leaving ‘I’ll take care of that’. We have never heard of him, ”assured the spouse of Sylvain Tremblay.

The City of Saguenay says it cannot do anything and recommends that they take action against those they deem responsible for the presence of the contaminant.


“Taxpayers, we pay taxes. We (the City) collect the cash. And after that, when you have a problem, immediately, activate, activate, activate. It does not work like that in life, activate, activate, activate, ”lamented Mr. Tremblay.

“We feel left out. You feel all alone in there. Let’s say it’s been going on for a few months. We are tired, ”added his spouse.

The sector advisor, Serge Gaudreault, met with them and supports them in this situation. He himself deplores the position of the City.

“I find it very ordinary, said the elected municipal official. This person had to be supervised by the City following the past of these lands. Of this contamination. She shouldn’t be left on her own. She should have help. And very quickly from the City of Saguenay.”

Sylvain Tremblay thanks his municipal councilor for his support. He is shocked to find that the City is not helping him.

“We can’t dig. I can not do anything. I have both hands stuck. The City does not want to pay. It’s boring. You can’t open the windows. We will not eat on the barbecue this summer through the gas,” said the owner.

The couple must therefore wait for the results of the analyzes carried out by the Ministry of the Environment. This is what will decide the sequence of events.


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