Problems with toilets and drains frequently require the services of 24 hour plumbers. In most cases, these issues cannot be dealt with through DIY skills. Cleaning drains and unclogging toilets are messy jobs and they require equipment and expertise of emergency plumbers.

Last Tuesday, a sewage pipe burst at the Breast Center of the $1.3 billion Notre Dame de Grace Hospital. Several rooms were flooded which prompted the hospital officials to call the infection control department. Aside from the overflow of raw sewage on the hospital floors, fruit flies started to come out from the kitchen sinks.

The health minister Gaetan Barrette demanded that the emergency be resolved immediately. He also expressed frustrations on how come a modern and state of the art hospital will be subjected to sewage flooding. He warned that the design-builder construction company will face legal action if the chronic problem persists in the coming months.

The housekeeping and technical services staff of the hospital expressed their concerns about safety because they are dealing with sewage water. Last week the Montreal Gazette was provided with photographs showing the staff throwing bed pads on the hallway floors of birthing area in order to absorb the water.

Inspection control department has warned that housekeeping must use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect all the areas that have been flooded with sewage water such as the patient’s rooms in the children and adult wards of the hospitals including the adjoining clinics. Everything must be done to make sure that there is a safe environment for the hospital staff as well as the doctors and nurses while the private construction company is repairing the underlying drainage problems.

At Wednesday’s meeting, representatives from the hospital and the contractor were present to address the complex challenge of opening up the blocked sewage pipes on the ceiling of the operating room without affecting the volume of elective surgeries. The contractor maintained that that the sewage pipes were of the correct diameter and the problems with clogs were due to dressings, gauzes and tampons that were thrown on toilets. To solve the issue, a directive was issued on things that cannot be flushed down the toilets.