Corporation Of The Township Of Nipigon – Fined $10,000 For Safe Drinking Water Act ViolationsTHUNDER BAY – On December 6, 2010, the Corporation of the Township of Nipigon pleaded guilty to three violations under the Safe Drinking Water Act for failing to maintain the water treatment plant serving the Township of Nipigon, to complete an assessment and capacity review and for altering a drinking water system without an approval.
The Court heard that the Corporation of the Township of Nipigon is located in the District of Thunder Bay. The township owns and operates a large municipal drinking water system approved under a Certificate of Approval, serving 1500 residents. The drinking water treatment plant draws raw surface water from the Nipigon River and treats it using chemically assisted filtration. On September 29, 2008, a Provincial Officer of the ministry, in the course of an inspection noted deficiencies and on March 17, 2009, issued a Provincial Officer Order to the Township.
During the inspection, it was observed that the dosing monitor on the sodium hypochlorite metering lead pump for primary disinfection or “pre-chlorination” had been broken since at least September 29, 2008. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the owner or operator of a municipal drinking water system is responsible for ensuring that the system is maintained in a fit state of repair. The approval requires the Owner to complete an assessment and capacity review for the four (4) gravity filters and submit the results to the Director, by August 31, 2008. The review was not submitted to the Director until June of 2009. Further, on December 8, 2008, the inspection revealed that modifications to the residual management system at the water treatment plant were proceeding, including construction of a concrete storage tank, there by altering the drinking water system, without an approval granted by the Director.
Following the laying of charges on July 20, 2010 by the ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch, the Corporation of the Township of Nipigon was convicted and fined $10,000 plus the victim fine surcharge and was given 60 days to pay.
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