March 22, 2004

Water monitoring offences lead to $10K fine for Severn township

ORILLIA, ONT-The Township of Severn recently pleaded guilty to two charges of non-compliance with Ministry of Environment (MOE) water monitoring requirements and was fined a total of $10,000, plus a victim fine surcharge. The Township owns and operates a number of water treatment plants and distribution systems, including the Severn Estates waterworks, which supplies water to about 40 area residents. MOE staff inspecting the waterworks in December 2001 found that the township had failed to report a number of water quality exceedances occurring between August and November 2001, as required by Regulation 459/00 under the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). During a second inspection in January 2003, MOE staff found that the township had not installed a continuous chlorine monitor and alarm as required under Condition 2.1(e)(i) of its certificate of approval (C of A). A $7,000 fine was imposed on the township for failing to report water quality exceedances orally and in writing as soon as reasonably possible. The township was fined $3,000 on the second charge and was given 60 days to pay the total fine. No ill effects to residents have been reported to the Ministry as a result of these offences, and the township has since installed the proper monitoring devices at a cost of $127,000.
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