Ville de Gatineau
Owners of artesian and surface wells
Skip to main content
Owners of artesian and surface wells
Owners of artesian and surface wells

In this page

See also

According to Quebec's ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, private well owners must take special precautions when there is a flood because such events can present serious risks to the quality of underground water, which can be contaminated not only by river water but also by nearby septic systems. In order to avoid the risk of illness due to the consumption of contaminated water, the ministère recommends that those owners take the following steps.

During the flooding

Water from any well in a flooded area should be treated as unsafe to consume, and anyone who is affected should get their drinking water from another source (for instance from a neighbour who was not affected, a water distribution network or bottled water), or boil for one minute any water they intend to consume as drinking water or to prepare uncooked food.

After the flooding

Once the flood waters have finally receded, property owners should check that their well equipment is intact, particularly the wiring, to make sure that the water is potable.

Then, as specified in the procédure du ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, owners should wait a minimum of ten days before disinfecting their wells.

Once the disinfection procedure is completed, owners should have their well water tested.

After the disinfection, the testing should indicate that the water is entirely free of E. coli, enterococci and total coliforms.

Free water testing for flood-affected artesian and surface well owners

From May 22 to June 15, the City's laboratory will be offering free total coliform and E. coli testing to owners of private drinking wells affected by the flooding.

Only affected properties located in identified disaster areas are eligible for testing:

  • chemin Fraser;
  • the area of rue Saint-Louis and rue René;
  • rue Jacques-Cartier;
  • rue Riviera and Kitchissipi Marina area;
  • boulevard Hurtubise Ouest from rue Campeau;
  • boulevard Hurtubise Boulevard Est from rue Campeau;
  • chemin du Fer-à-Cheval.

A maximum of two samples will be tested for free per household. Owners will have to pay for any additional testing. Proof of residence is required.  

The lab will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday, from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.

The lab will also test the water of other residences in Gatineau and elsewhere for $42.

If there are any such bacteria, the water must continue to be boiled. The well will have to be reinspected, and the disinfection repeated.

The results of both recommended series of analyses must indicate that the water is safe to consume.

Source: ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques du Québec.

About Gatineau

Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 292,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.

Return to top of page