Homeowners in Saguenay are distraught over the contamination of their homes

The presence of hydrocarbons was reported on Tuesday at the site of a residential building on rue Mézy in Chicoutimi-Nord.

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

“When we had to dig to replace the foundation drain, we found it was nowhere near contaminated,” Mr Tremblay said.

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 there’s no smell in the house,” added Sylvain Tremblay’s wife. If we had never done the dig, we might not have known about it.”

In 2010, houses in the neighborhood were affected when a gas leak was discovered at a gas station on Boulevard Sainte-Geneviève.


The couple believe a similar situation is at the root of their problem. They think the contamination could have come from an old gas station that made headlines in May 1977 for this type of flow.

Also, in 2008, the owners had pipes removed at the entrance to their property, which they believe were sensors.

“We would never have bought the house if we had known there was an environmental problem,” Mr Tremblay said. It certainly comes from one place. We didn’t ask that. The city has no history. They don’t know anything about that. So we are the ones who get caught with the problem.”

The Ministry of the Environment took samples to determine the nature of the contamination. The Saguenay Fire Department kept the site safe and a city representative also went there to observe.

“He said before he left, ‘I’ll take care of that.’ We’ve never heard of him,” assured Sylvain Tremblay’s wife.

The city of Saguenay says there is nothing it can do and recommends taking action against those they blame for the presence of the pollutant.


“Taxpayers, we pay taxes. We (the city) collect the money. And after that, if you have a problem, activate, activate, activate immediately. That’s not how life works, activate, activate, activate,” lamented Mr Tremblay.

“We feel left out. You feel all alone in there. Let’s say it lasts a few months. We’re tired,” added his wife.

Sector advisor Serge Gaudreault has met with them and is supporting them in this situation. He himself regrets the attitude of the city.

“I think it’s very ordinary,” the elected community official said. This person had to be monitored by the city after the past of these lands. From this contamination. She shouldn’t be left alone. She should get help. And very quickly from the city of Saguenay.”

Sylvain Tremblay thanks his local council for their 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 doesn’t want to pay. It is boring. You can’t open the windows. We won’t be eating on the grill this summer because of the gas,” the owner said.

The couple must therefore await the results of the analyzes carried out by the Ministry of the Environment. This will determine the course of events.

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