Our Services / Environment
What are my responsibilities in relation to drinking water?
The Municipality invites you to learn more about the responsibilities of a property owner when it comes to providing drinking water to your family and visitors.
Please click here for the Quebec Ministry of the Environment's recommendations
How to perform a water analysis?
Whether your water supply comes from a surface well, a sand point or an artesian well, it is your responsibility to have your drinking water tested for coliform and other bacteria.
In partnership with the Micro B Laboratory, the Municipality provides you with sterile bottles to do the sampling yourself.
Please call us before coming to City Hall to inquire about the availability of sterile bottles and applicable fees. Instructions will be given to you in person when you pick up the bottles. (Please note that this service has been temporarily suspended until further notice due to the current pandemic situation).
It will be your responsibility to send your sample to the Micro B Laboratory at the following address:
Laboratoire Micro B
67, boul. Saint-Raymond
It is also possible to perform a basic test for E. coli and total coliforms at the City of Gatineau Laboratory. To perform this test, it is preferable to contact the laboratory directly so that it can provide you with the details of the procedure to follow, including, among other things, the location for collecting the sterile sample bottles.
Water quality analysis service at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (Gatineau sector):
858A, rue Notre-Dame
Analysis department: 819-663-7345
Click here to consult the City of Gatineau's website
Management of watercourses by the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais
The MRC des Collines-de-l'Outaouais is responsible for managing the free flow of water. To report a problem (obstruction, culvert, beaver dam, etc.), please contact the MRC directly at:
Telephone: (819) 827-0516
Toll free: 1-800-387-4146
We also invite you to consult the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais’ practical guide and by-law 152-10 concerning the free flow of water and watercourses of the MRC, click here.
All well drilling must comply with the Water Withdrawal and Protection Regulation (Q-2, r.35.2). Owners must obtain a municipal permit to install, modify, replace or seal a well.
The Provincial Act requires that a well drilling report be produced by a well digger and sent to the Municipality. This report must include information such as the use, depth, estimated flow rate, soil type and whether the well is sealed (annular space composed of a cement-bentonite mixture, etc.).
Click here for the Water Withdrawal and Protection Regulation (Q-2, r. 35.2).
What are wetlands?
Wetlands are sites that are saturated with water or flooded for a sufficiently long period of time to influence the soil and vegetation components. The vegetation present consists of hydrophilic plants or plants that tolerate periodic flooding. In Quebec, wetlands occupy more or less 10% of its entire territory.
The importance of wetlands
Although these environments are often considered useless or worthless, they are exceptional and highly productive ecosystems. They are an integral part of the water cycle. Now protected, they have very important roles:
- They are characterized by a high biological productivity
- They support habitats for flora and fauna, both terrestrial and aquatic
- They provide a food source for a wide range of species
- They supply water to the water table
- They reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- They filter pollutants and sediments suspended in the water
- They act as natural regulators by retaining excess water, thus reducing the risk of flooding and shoreline erosion
- They act as a natural protection as a buffer zone
The types of wetlands
- Bog (ombrotrophic peatland)
- Fen (minerotrophic peatland)
To learn more about wetlands in Quebec, we invite you to visit the website of the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, click here
N.B. : Following an analysis performed by a biologist, a land surveyor will be able to identify where the wetlands are located on your property.
Click here to learn about Bill 132 - An Act respecting the conservation of wetlands and water bodies.
Riparian buffer zone
What is a riparian buffer zone?
The riparian buffer is a minimum of 10 to 15 metres wide between the aquatic and terrestrial environments and is essential to protect aquatic and terrestrial habitats and wildlife. This strip is identified from the high water mark. Your land surveyor will be able to identify the slope and distance from the high water mark to determine the depth of the riparian buffer.
N.B.: Any intervention in the riparian buffer zone is prohibited without the written permission of the Municipality. Please contact the Urban Planning department for more details.
Click here to consult the Policy for the Protection of Lakeshores, Riverbanks and Floodplains (Q-2, r. 35).
Fauna and flora
Ticks and Lyme disease
Some ticks can transmit diseases, including Lyme disease. It is transmitted by the bite of a tick carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.
A dozen species of ticks are present in Quebec. The only species that can transmit Lyme disease in Quebec and northeastern North America is the Ixodes scapularis tick, also known as the "deer tick" or "blacklegged tick".
When to consult?
If you have a rash after being exposed to ticks, you can draw the outline with a pencil and take a picture. This will allow you to see if the rash is spreading.
Call Info-Santé 811 or see a doctor if you are in one of the following situations:
- The redness is 5 cm in diameter or more
- The redness has persisted for more than 48 hours
- You believe you have one or several other symptoms of Lyme disease in the days, weeks or months following an outdoor activity that may have exposed you to ticks.
If you noticed a bite, provide the information you wrote down about the bite:
- Which part of the body was bitten
- The date and place you were when you were bitten
If you see a doctor, if possible, bring the tick in an airtight container such as a pill bottle.
To protect yourself from tick bites during your outdoor activities:
- Walk preferably on trails and avoid tall grass
- Use DEET or icaridin mosquito repellent on exposed parts of your body, avoiding the face
- Wear long, light-colored clothing, a hat and closed shoes
- Tuck your pants into your socks and your sweater into your pants
We invite you to consult the page on the Santé Québec website related to ticks and Lyme disease, click here.
Legally protected wildlife habitats
Because they are essential environments for wildlife, several wildlife habitats in Quebec are legally protected. In these habitats, any activity that could modify an element necessary for the needs of the species targeted by this habitat is prohibited.
To benefit from this legal protection, wildlife habitats must be located on Crown land. Their legal boundaries must be mapped and a notice must be published in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
Work in the shoreline
A request for authorization must be made to the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs to carry out an activity that is likely to modify a legally protected wildlife habitat. The request is then analyzed and may be authorized, subject to conditions in order to reduce the impact on the habitat
How do I apply to the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs for authorization for an activity in a wildlife habitat?
To apply for an authorization, you must first complete, the form that applies to your situation. By consulting the website of the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, you will find several useful information to make your request (form, fees, etc.).
If you have any questions regarding the use of the forms, you are invited to contact the Outaouais Wildlife Management Office:
Direction de la gestion de la faune de l’Outaouais
16, impasse de la Gare-Talon, RC 100
Gatineau (Québec) J8T 0B1
Secondly, you must transmit the authorization obtained from the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, as part of a permit application to the Urban Planning Department of the Municipality of Pontiac to apply for a permit pertaining to work in the shoreline.
Invasive species in Quebec (IAS)
Did you know that several species from elsewhere in the world have succeeded in establishing themselves in Quebec and are a source of multiple impacts, often harmful, on our biodiversity, our economy, our health and our jobs? These species are called "invasive alien species".
What is an invasive alien species (IAS)?
An IAS is a plant, animal or micro-organism (virus or bacteria) introduced outside its natural range, and whose establishment or spread constitutes a threat to the environment, the economy or society. In Quebec, IAS have been classified into three categories:
- Of concern and present in Quebec
- Of concern, but outside Quebec
- Of little concern and present in Quebec
Wildlife IAS include terrestrial species, such as the Asian lady beetle, emerald ash borer, or European starling, and aquatic species such as the zebra mussel and the round goby. Wildlife IAS also include pathogenic organisms that attack wildlife, such as the raccoon rabies virus. All of these species are IAS present in Quebec
Impacts of IAS
- Ecosystem degradation
- Modification of the structure and composition of communities (predation or competition with native species)
- Loss of ecosystem functions beneficial to humans (ecological services)
- Costs associated with damage and control of IAS
- Worldwide: 5% of GDP
- In Canada: $7.5 billion;
- In the Great Lakes region: $200 million U.S. per year for aquatic IAS alone.
- Compromises jobs related to the harvesting of native species
- Threat to human health or to wild or domestic animal species
To learn more about invasive species in Quebec, we invite you to visit the website of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, click here.
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odorless and tasteless. When radon is emitted from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and does not pose a danger. However, in enclosed spaces such as homes, it can accumulate to dangerous levels. High levels of radon can pose a health risk to you and your family.
How do I test my home for radon?
There are two ways to measure the radon concentration in a house:
- Get a do-it-yourself radon test kit. If you choose this option, you must take care to follow the instructions carefully
- Hire a professional radon tester. If you choose this option, make sure the professional is certified and will perform a long-term measurement for a period of at least three months.
For more information about radon, we invite you to consult the Health Canada website, click here.
Directory of contaminated properties in Quebec
The Contaminated Sites Inventory provides some information on contaminated sites that have come to the attention of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. It also includes information on properties that are now being remediated.
IMPORTANT: Even after it has been rehabilitated, a site that was contaminated is never removed from the directory,
We also invite you to consult the Contaminated Sites Inventory, click here.