City inspectors have since been working to determine the source of the abnormal noise. During the investigation, various transmitters were verified, such as building ventilation units and port or industrial activities.
The White Birch Papers factory was finally targeted as responsible for the roaring sounds after the City’s proceedings, a spokesperson, David O’Brien confirmed on Friday.
“The source of the noise considered abnormal turns out to be a low frequency oscillation caused by vacuum pump vents on the roof of the White Birch Papers mill,” he wrote in an email.
This was, moreover, the hypothesis of certain readers of the Soleil, neighbors of the factory, pointing their fingers at its noisy equipment.
Less life, more noise
While some citizens claimed to have heard the sound of low frequencies for a long time, the first request in this case was not registered until March 25. It seems that the hovering calm after the curfew fell accentuated the hearing of the noise, says David O’Brien.
There were no cars or revelers to bury him, so the “acoustic beating” caused by the noise of the White Birch already traveling a long distance was more audible in the evening and at night.
“The pandemic situation, where car traffic and the noise of a busy city were almost non-existent in the evening, explains in particular why this noise which has been present for years and which was masked by traffic and urban life has become everything. suddenly noticeable ”.
Other meteorological factors such as the wind or the atmospheric ceiling, further specifies the spokesperson, can also amplify his perception.
Back to silence
The boulevard des Capucins paper production plant must now make the necessary modifications to its facilities in order to limit the sounds that disturb part of the population of the city center. A mitigation plan is currently being set up “in order to reduce this low frequency oscillation noise”.
The City maintains a “close” collaboration with White Birch and will make sure to follow the file closely.
“A design and construction deadline is however necessary,” tempers Mr. O’Brien.
In addition, Quebec City investigators also found other equipment in buildings and facilities that caused noise. The owners have been informed and they will be making improvements. The City is now confident that “this exercise will ultimately lead to an overall reduction in ambient noise”.
It will therefore take some time before silence reigns again in the city center.