March 14, 2005

American Water Services fined $15K in connection with sewage spill

HAMILTON, ONT-American Water Services Canada was been fined $15,000, plus a victim fine surcharge, in connection with a spill of partially-treated sewage at the Waterdown sewage treatment plant, which the company manages. In June 2002, a trough at the Hamilton plant was tipped over and left in an open position, causing a pit to fill up with partially-treated sewage. The partially-treated sewage overflowed from the floor drains and out into Grindstone Creek from under the door of the sewage treatment building. Upon becoming aware of the spill, the company immediately notified the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and took measures to stop the discharge. American Water Services also initiated and completed a cleanup afterwards. Nevertheless, the firm was charged with causing or permitting the discharge of sewage into Grindstone Creek, which may have impaired the quality of the waters, contrary to Section 30(1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) as amended, thereby committing an offence under Section 107 of the act. The company pleaded guilty and was given 90 days to pay the fine.

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