A couple of West Island water filtration plants will soon undergo some major renovations.

Dorval has opened tenders submitted by last Friday’s deadline to build an extension for its new fluoride system as well as to install new equipment. Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau expects the winning bidder will be given the green light to start work shortly.

The final price for the new fluoride system will be close to $500,000, with the provincial health department picking up the tab, Rouleau said.

“We have to build a small extension (to the water plant) in order to meet new rules that say the fluoride system must be housed in a separate building,” Rouleau said, adding he hopes fluoride will flow again in Dorval tap water by late this year or early 2008. “The work should take about two to three months at the most,” he said.

Dorval had added fluoride to its drinking water, which not only serves its residents but also its industrial park as well as the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, but stopped in 2003 after the old system broke down. A study released early last year revealed that more children in Dorval suffered from cavities after fluoridation stopped in 2003.

After various hassles with the Montreal mega-city and subsequent agglomeration council, Dorval, with the help of local MNA François Ouimet, was able to convince Quebec to fund its new fluoride system last year. The process went back and forth for approval before the project went out to public tender this fall.

With Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay blocking funding for the Dorval project, Ouimet sought legislative changes to the provincial decree outlining the make-up of post-de-merger Montreal regarding control over water-treatment facilities. The amendment gives the decision-making power over to Dorval as well as Pointe Claire, which also adds fluoride to its drinking water. Rouleau said the provincial decree gives control over drinking water to Dorval and Pointe Claire until the end of 2008. “We’re asking them now to make it permanent,” he said. “We want to maintain management of our plants. We feel we have done an excellent job and we’re closer to our people.”

Montreal, on the other hand, has not managed its water system well and there are many leaks in the central city, Rouleau said.

New tank for Pierrefonds

Meanwhile, Montreal announced last week it plans a major modernization project at its Pierrefonds plant, including a new 9,000 square metre underground potable water tank and work inside the existing plant. The upgrade will increase capacity and improve the treatment process, city officials said. While the project still has to go to tender, it should start early next year and last about 12 months.

Pierrefonds remains a part of the Montreal mega-city, which plans to upgrade all of its drinking water plants over the coming years.

Montreal also has control over the aging Ste. Anne de Bellevue water plant since the town deemed it obsolete years ago and wanted to shut it down. Ste. Anne Mayor Bill Tierney said his town hopes to buy all of its water from Pointe Claire, which already serves a section of the town and several other municipalities.