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La Patrouille bleue

Youngsters Increasing Awareness, Informing and Involving

An initiative of Ville de Montréal's Service de l’eau

Montréal is surrounded by the majestic St. Lawrence River. Even though there is lots of water there, La Patrouille bleue informs and increases the awareness of the City's 1.8 million residents by involving them in actions geared toward conserving drinking water on a daily basis, in order to avoid wasting this invaluable resource that we all share.

La Patrouille bleue has been active since 2010. The patrollers cycle up and down the streets of the City during their school vacation, talking to thousands of residents, suggesting concrete actions and practical solutions that everyone can adopt, such as recovering rainwater to cut down on surface run-off to the sewer, repairing water faucet leaks and opting for low water consumption appliances.

These patrollers also hand out information on the impacts of climate change within an urban environment—impacts that result in an increase in the frequency of heavy rainfalls. Simple actions are suggested in order to protect buildings against sewer back-ups and floods caused by such rainwater inflow.

La Patrouille bleue—committed youngsters

La Patrouille bleue is made up of students, registered in environment-related disciplines, who carry the message of conserving drinking water to the City's residents. During the months of May and June, they make the rounds of parks, festivities in the lanes, childcare centres, commercial establishments and small businesses.

In their first year of operations, 20 patrollers shared the work, distributing pamphlets on a number of topics related to conserving drinking water. Given the popularity of its awareness efforts in the field, which had a very positive impact, La Patrouille bleue expanded during its second year, rallying all of the City's 19 boroughs as well as several island municipalities to their cause.

Significant actions

Since 2010, the patrollers' involvement in the Montréal community has helped :

-increase the awareness of over 13,500 residents, shopkeepers and entrepreneurs on the island about the issues related to saving drinking water

- provide information on the impacts of climate change in urban environments and on the increase in the frequency of heavy rainfalls due to these changes

- equip residents with ways and means of guarding against sewer backups and floods caused by these heavy rainfalls that discharge large amounts of water into the sewers in record time

- encourage the recovery of rainwater in order to cut down on surface run-off so as to avoid overloading the sewer system

In 2011, the patrollers not only pursued their awareness efforts, but also carried out a diagnosis of 260 buildings on the island of Montréal. The findings made it possible to inform owners of drinking water leaks detected in their plumbing installations so that they could have the necessary repairs carried out.

These findings are in line with those of pilot cases that brought to light the fact that 25 to 50 % of the water flowing into buildings was being wasted because of defective plumbing fixtures.

The 2012 edition of La Patrouille bleue is now in the planning stages and, for this purpose, other partners have expressed their keen interest in the activities of La Patrouille bleue.

Service de l’eau

Almost 900 employees work for Ville de Montréal's Service de l’eau :

Ø maintaining the outstanding quality of the City's drinking water for over 1.8 million residents

Ø repairing and maintaining 12,387 km of water supply and sewage pipes—approximately the distance between Montréal and Shanghai!

Ø daily treating 99% of the sewage on Montréal territory—or nearly 50% of all sewage in Québec as a whole

Ø increasing the awareness of residents, industrial firms and commercial establishments with regard to good practices for saving drinking water

By creating its Service de l'eau, the City has confirmed its commitment to public, responsible, sustainable water management. Setting up La Patrouille bleue in 2010 comes within the scope of this vision.

Our main partner

As a partner from the very beginning, the Regroupement des éco-quartiers, a non-profit umbrella organization, manages La Patrouille bleue. This organization groups together a network of partners in environment-related fields that are deeply rooted in the territory of Montréal as a whole.