When Ken Gagnon recommended last year that Guelph-Eramosa take control of its water and wastewater systems from the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA), he cited price as the main incentive.
But now, there seems to be another advantage: better water quality.
Gagnon, the township’s Public Works Manager, said last week that “unannounced, full inspections” by the Ministry of the Environment in January resulted in ratings of 98.22 and 99.57% respectively for the Hamilton Drive and Rockwood well supply systems. Those figures are up 3.1 and 7.9% respectively over the previous inspection.
“I’m quite happy with how the department performed on this one,” Gagnon said.
Mayor Chris White said bringing the water and wastewater systems under the control of the township has been a resoundingly positive experience.
He thanked Gagnon for his hard work and noted the inspection ratings have gone up since the township took over from OCWA last year.
Upset with receiving unpredictable, escalating bills, the township took control of its water and wastewater systems effective Jan. 1, 2009.
At the time Gagnon estimated the township could save between $50,000 and $75,000 per year by taking over operational services.
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Gagnon also last week presented to council the annual summary reports for both well supply systems. There were four issues of non-compliance at the Rockwood system and two at the Hamilton Drive system, though both systems met the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Gagnon said the reports show the township has very good water, as extensive tests showed very few problems. He also noted the township has received four rounds of relief from lead testing previously required by the province.
Several councillors expressed frustration the township had to do the tests in the first place, and also that it will have to conduct them again in 2011.