Report: Ontario water still not being tested properly

Toronto - More than two years after the Walkerton E. coli disaster, inspections show about half on Ontario's water treatment plants are still failing to test their water properly or are violating other safety rules meant to prevent a tragedy from happening again.  Ministry of Environment data shows that since April, inspectors have looked at 405 water plants, of which 196 failed to meet provincial standards, the Toronto Star reported.

The ministry laid 52 charges against eight plants, including 22 against Durham Region in October for failing to report bad water, the newspaper said.  More than 10 percent of the plants were found to be providing substandard water, said the Star.  Ministry spokesman John Steele said it doesn't necessarily mean the water posed a health hazard, because many infractions were relatively minor in nature, said the article.  But 92 plants failed to comply with minimum sampling requirements, meaning they were not testing water as frequently as they were supposed to, the newspaper reported.  Eighty-five provided residents with water that failed to meet the government's quality standards, while 27 weren't disinfecting their water properly, the article stated.  In May, 2000, seven people died and 2,500 fell ill in Walkerton when bacteria-laden manure got into the drinking water.


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Edited from Tech Bank 12/27/02