Environment

Watercourse Management

The MRC ensures the integrated management of the outflow of water from waterways on its territory, which focuses on the public safety. The MRC enforces its regulations governing matters relating to the outflow of watercourses and plans the management of all watercourses under its jurisdiction, excluding the Outaouais River and the St. Lawrence River.

For the purposes of management of the waterways for which it has jurisdiction, the MRC developed a politique relative à la gestion des cours d’eau.

 

In addition, as part of major projects carried out on its territory, the MRC acts as a link between the various stakeholders, such as cities, municipalities, government bodies, the Conseil des bassins versants de la région de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (COBAVER-VS) (English), the Zone d’intervention Prioritaire du Haut Saint-Laurent (ZIP HSL) committee (English), citizens and other stakeholders.

Agricultural Soil Retention Project

In 2016, the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges launched a program to promote the retention of agricultural soils thanks to an aid package from the Prime-Vert program of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ).

The objectives of this project are to improve the quality of watercourses by reducing the amount of sediment due to bank erosion, to reduce maintenance work required in waterways, and to improve growing conditions on many agricultural lands. It is made possible through the collaboration of agro-environmental advisory clubs, the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and of the Conseil du bassin versant de la région de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (Watershed Council of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Region – COBAVER-VS)
The MRC intends to maximize the use of MAPAQ’s aid package by seeking grants that can cover up to 90% of the cost of the works, which represents nearly $25,000 per farm business.

A personalized approach is offered to each farmer to promote the retention of agricultural soils. Here’s an overview of the steps of the project:

  • Registration;
  • Data compilation;
  • Field diagnosis by an agronomist technician;
  • Choice of actions to be carried out by farmers;
  • Farmer-directed execution of the work;
  • MAPAQ reimbursement according to grants.

 

For more information, or to participate, please contact the watercourses department by email at coursdeau@mrcvs.ca or by phone at 450-455-5753 x2202, or in person at the MRC office at 280 Boulevard Harwood in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

Obtaining a Permit

It is necessary to obtain a permit before performing ANY work on a watercourse.

Here are the documents to provide for a permit application:

Here are some examples of permit costs:

Work Fee
Installation of bridges or culverts with a diameter less than 4m $25
Installation of bridges or culverts with a diameter greater than 4m $400
Ouvrage aérien ou souterrain qui croise un cours d’eau sur un terrain résidentiel $100
Above-ground or underground works that cross a watercourse on a residential property $1,000
Installation of drainage pipes, outlets, or ditches $25
Embankment stablization $25
Work redirecting runoff waters into a watercourse or tributary $100

Works prohibited by the MRC:

  • Installation of culverts made from a tank with an inner lining
  • Pushing of snow into the watercourse
  • Installation of parallel culverts, with some exceptions
  • Waterway canalization
  • Addition of an embankment to a watercourse
  • Watercourse access for farm animals
  • Installation of a dam on the watercourse

These works could lead to an offence under the applicable regulations. Please check with the MRC and your municipality before doing any work on a watercourse, as explained in this leaflet (available in French only).

Please contact the watercourses department for any permit request by email at coursdeau@mrcvs.ca by phone at 450-455-5753 x2202, or in person at the MRC office at 280 Boulevard Harwood in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

Watercourse Management

Definition of a watercourse under the jurisdiction of the MRC.

To request a service, please fill out the form. The MRC processes the requests received and prioritizes them based on public safety. The annual deadline to receive applications is May 15 of each year. The minimum period before the completion of the work is 2 years.

If you need to dig, check with Info-Excavation (available in French only) beforehand.

Please contact the watercourses department for any maintenance requests at by email at coursdeau@mrcvs.ca or by phone at 450-455-5753 x2202, or in person at the MRC office at 280 Boulevard Harwood in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

Removing an Obstruction

The MRC must restore the normal flow of water when it is informed of the presence of an obstruction that threatens public safety.

Obstructed or collapsed culvert

Responsible Party Type of Obstruction
The MRC Beaver dams
Ice dams
Preventative weakening of ice dams
The owner, as provided for in the Loi et dans la réglementation, or else the MCR will intervene at the owner’s cost Bridge or culvert of insufficient size
Sediments in the waterway due to collapse of an unstable river bank and dislocation of the river bank
Being able to tolerate snow, branches, trash, scrap metal, etc. in the waterway

Responsibilities of riverside property owners

As a riverside property owner, you must remove anything that can impede the flow of water, such as branches, trash, tree trunks or land subsidence. You must keep your shoreline in good condition and free of debris and keep native and natural vegetation over a minimum span of 10 or 15 meters.

Beaver dams

The MRC intervenes when it is informed that a beaver dam threatens public safety. Following the trapping of beavers, the MRC proceeds to dismantle dams causing an obstruction on the waterway.

For more information on beavers: http://www3.mffp.gouv.qc.ca/faune/importuns/fiche.asp?fiche=castor (available in French only).

For more information on beaver depredation: https://www.mffp.gouv.qc.ca/publications/faune/guide-castor.pdf (available in French only).

Please contact the waterways department for any inquiries regarding a waterway obstruction by email at coursdeau@mrcvs.ca or by phone at 450-455-5753 x2202, or in person at the MRC office located at 280 Boulevard Harwood in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

Identifying Watercourses on Your Property

Before doing any work on what you think is a ditch, contact the MRC to check whether it is a watercourse under its jurisdiction. Be aware that even the smallest natural flow could be a watercourse, even if it is has been dry for some time

The exact location, location of the riparian buffer, or other geographic information should be determined by a surveyor or biologist trained in the high water line determination process.
In response to your request, the MRC will send you a map approximate location of the watercourse on the property to study. The responsibility of the MRC is limited to confirming whether or not it is a watercourse under its jurisdiction.

What is a watercourse?

Some ditches are now considered watercourses under the Law, which makes no distinction between regular or intermittent watercourses and those created or modified by human intervention.

Definition of a watercourse under the jurisdiction of the MRC

The MRC has jurisdiction over regular or intermittent watercourses, including those created or modified by human intervention:

  • Natural watercourse, regardless of drainage basin;
  • Watercourse of natural but modified origin, regardless of the drainage basin;
  • A dugout watercourse that exists only because of human intervention with a drained area greater than 100 hectares.

Please contact the watercourses department for any inquiries regarding the identification of a waterway by email at coursdeau@mrcvs.ca or by phone at 450-455-5753 x2202, or in person at the MRC office at 280 Boulevard Harwood in Vaudreuil-Dorion.