May 30, 2005

Car wash operator charged under SWDA in connection with detergent release

STRATFORD, ONT-Festival U, a Stratford car wash operation owned and operated by McHugh Holdings, and company officer Tim McHugh have been charged with two violations each of section 20 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). On March 7, 2005, a drinking water advisory was issued for the City of Stratford. A Ministry of Environment (MOE) investigation determined that the company had violated the SDWA by releasing detergent containing 2-butoxy-ethanol, used in the operation of the car wash, into the drinking water system. The MOE issued the owner a provincial officer's order requiring that the system be evaluated by a qualified plumber or equivalent to ascertain whether the necessary equipment is installed according to the city's building code and cross connection bylaw. Although McHugh Holdings complied with the order in a timely manner, both parties

As a result of this incident, McHugh Holdings Inc. and Tim McHugh were charged with causing or permitting detergent, containing 2-butoxy-ethanol, to enter the city's drinking water system, resulting in a health hazard; this is an offence under section 140(1) of the Act. Both were also charged for causing or permitting the discharge of detergent into the city's drinking water system that resulted in the interference with the normal operation of the system. A court appearance is scheduled for June 17, 2005 in Stratford.

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