The Baie-Comeau Smelter’s carbon sector is equipped with a closed-loop water management system and, therefore, generates no wastewater. In the casthouse, the cooling waters are recycled and treated, and only the blow-off water is discharged into the environment. Raw water is sourced from Lac La Chasse, the reservoir for the municipality of Baie-Comeau, and is treated at the plant to render it potable.
The decrease in potable and industrial water consumption at the Baie-Comeau Smelter in 2013 is mainly related to the shutdown of the Söderberg plant.
The Bécancour Smelter sources its industrial water from the Bécancour industrial park and uses the potable water treated by the City of Bécancour. The cooling water used at the casthouse is industrial water that has been repeatedly recycled. Only the blow-off water is discharged into the environment. In the carbon sector, potable water is used to cool the anodes and the exhaust from the bake ovens. This water is either re-circulated or evaporated (zero discharge). Potable water is also used to cool the compressors. Water is discharged at the cooling towers.
Since new and more precise water meters were installed in 2013, water consumption measured was significantly higher.
The Deschambault Smelter obtains it process water from the rainwater that falls at the site. Potable water, provided by the municipality, is used only for sanitary purposes. Because this plant is designed with a recycling and zero discharge system for process water, it uses only a minimal amount of water for manufacturing. This is true both in the carbon sector and at the casthouse. Potable water use varies little from one year to another.