The small Municipality of West Elgin (pop. 5,157) and three of its water distribution system operators were fined $154,500 in St.Thomas Provincial Offences Court for drinking water violations, including providing false information and failing to report adverse test results. One of the operators was sentenced to 30 days in jail and stripped of his right to work in a water plant. No wonder municipalities are finding it harder to hire and keep good water staff.
The Corporation of the Municipality of West Elgin owns a drinking water system that serves some of its residents. Lloyd Jarvis was the lead operator; Chad Yokom and Michael Kalita were certified operators. Ministry of the Environment staff conducted an inspection and concluded that that the minimum level of chlorine had not been maintained, log books had been altered and false information had been provided to the ministry. The operators had not reported to the ministry or the Medical Officer of Health when chlorine levels in the distribution system fell below the minimum required.
The Municipality of West Elgin, Lloyd Jarvis, Michael Kalita and Chad Yokom were fined a total of $154,500 plus victim fine surcharges of $38,625. The municipality was given 30 days and the operators 180 days to pay their fines. Mr. Jarvis was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to surrender his certificate to operate a drinking water system and not to work at or operate any business or employment concerning or related to drinking water.