Raw sewage backups at MUHC superhospital test relations with SNC-Lavalin
Black sewer water that “smells worse than rotten fish” is backing up drains and pooling in patient bathrooms at the new Montreal Children’s Hospital, angering staff who say the problem is widespread and keeps popping up despite the fact that plumbers are called in regularly to snake the drains.
“There have been at least a dozen incidents where the following has happened, as high as the ninth floor,” said a source at the MUHC, who declined to have his or her name published for fear of reprisals.
A Montreal Gazette reporter was able to independently verify the problem in at least one location of the hospital.
The fumes were so overpowering that one could not stay in the bathroom for longer than a few seconds, enough time to take an iPhone picture of a central floor drain that was taped over with masking tape.
“It really has to do with the use of the toilets themselves — in other words, what people put in the toilets,” Louis-Antoine Paquin, a spokesperson for SNC-Lavalin said in statement.
In April, MUHC officials said they had identified 3,000 deficiencies with the superhospital, the Montreal Gazette has since learned that other insider estimates put the total number at 14,000.