January 12, 2004

Township pleads guilty to water charges, $11,000 in fines levied

GUELPH, ONT-The Corporation of the Township of Centre Wellington was fined a total of $11,000, plus a 25% victim fine surcharge, after pleading guilty to three counts relating to the operation of waterworks in the towns of Fergus and Elora. A fine of $5,000 was levied for each of two counts of violating Section 8 of Ontario Regulation 459/00 under the Ontario Water Resources Act, by failing to notify the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of an adverse water quality result. Water samples taken from the Elora and Fergus water distribution systems in August 2002 were found to have low chlorine residuals, an indication of adverse water quality. The regulation requires the owner of a water treatment or distribution system to report any indicator of adverse water quality immediately to the MOE; the notice must be confirmed in writing within 24 hours. Also, on September 21, 2002, the township pumped more water than was permitted by its permit to take water, and was fined $1,000 for violating Condition 1.3 of the certificate of approval for the Elora water system. The township has subsequently implemented measures to prevent a recurrence of both types of offences.
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