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Town gets top marks for drinking water quality

by Kris Svela

MINTO - Council here will thank staff involved with drinking water quality after the town scored top marks for the water delivered to residents.

“It assures the residents of Minto that their water is safe to drink,” director of public services Norm Fisk told council at its Sept. 7 meeting.

The comment came after the town received a top score for water quality from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ontario Municipal Water Association. The score means Minto has met and surpassed requirements of its Drinking Water Quality Management Standard. Council was told the award places the town among 25 per cent of all Ontario municipalities that have received that award. Centre Wellington, according to information received by council, also holds a similar rating.

Council acknowledged receipt of several letters related to the award and called on special recognition of staff who work in the department. Fisk said the award could not have been achieved without the dedication of staff in putting information together with consultants involved in the application process.

“We’re being proactive,” he told council about work involved in maintaining clean water in Minto. “We’re not just doing the bare minimum.”

The standards for clean drinking water were based on the findings of Justice Dennis O’Conner after an inquiry into the Walkerton disaster which claimed seven lives and made hundreds ill in the community.

Chief drinking water inspector and Assistant Deputy Minister with the ministry John Stager congratulated the town on receiving its municipal drinking water licence and drinking water works permit and accreditation.

“Your successful efforts to implement a quality management system within your drinking water system are an important element of Ontario’s drinking water system,” he said in his letter acknowledging the award.

“Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to mandate a water quality management system for municipal residential drinking water systems, and the introduction of the municipal drinking water licensing program is one example of the measures put in place to keep Ontario’s drinking water among the most protected in the world.,” Stager said.

The town also received congratulations from the Ontario Municipal Water Association.

“On behalf of OMWA, I ... congratulate the Town of Minto for meeting the new provincial standard for drinking water safety established by the Ontario Ministry  of the Environment,” said president Ed Hougton in a letter.

“The Town of Minto has recently received the new five-part provincial licence for your municipal drinking water system, one of the most rigorous licenses of its kind in North America.”

Council  received notice of the town’s award from compliance coordinator Darrell Buehler and accounting and water clerk Jackie Hymers who said the MOE notice of the award was received in late July.

“The project has taken a lot of work and effort by a lot of town staff over a period of four years and is considered an accomplishment,” the pair wrote in a letter to council. “A safe drinking water supply which meets or exceeds all regulatory standards is our goal. This accomplishment is an assurance  to our customers that they have complete confidence in their drinking water supply.”

Mayor George Bridge said the town will acknowledge work done by staff in achieving the award.


September 23, 2011


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