October 11, 2004

Town fails to report adverse water test results, fined $12K

BROCKVILLE, ONT-Fines totalling $12,000 were levied against the Corporation of the Separated Town of Gananoque after the town pleaded guilty to two counts of non-compliance with the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). The court heard that during an inspection of the town's JW King water treatment plant in July 2002, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) found that fecal streptococci - an indicator of adverse water quality - had been detected in the treated water on six different occasions at various locations within the distribution system between December 2001 and May 2002. Under Ontario Regulation 459/00, the MOE must be notified immediately by phone when indicators of adverse water quality are detected in the water system, with written notification to follow within 24 hours. The town's failure to do so on these six occasions constituted two breaches of section 8(4) of the regulation. In a joint submission, the town pleaded guilty to two charges and was fined $8,000 and $4,000, respectively, for the violations. Regulation 459/00 has since been repealed and replaced with Regulation 170/01 under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. Gananoque has developed and implemented new reporting procedures and trained its employees on these procedures. Consequently, there have been no further incidents of failing to notify.
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