The Corporation of the Village of Westport fined $10,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violations
Brockville - The Corporation of the Village of Westport pleaded guilty to one offence and was fined $10,000 for operating a sewage treatment plant without adhering to conditions of ministry approval, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA).
The Corporation of the Village of Westport has a population of approximately 700 residents.
The Village owns and operates a snowfluent sewage treatment plant which pumps raw sewage during the winter months from two storage lagoons into towers fitted with nozzles while adding compressed air to make snow.
The Village operates the system under an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) issued by the ministry.
Under conditions of the ECA, the Village is required to ensure that the sewage treatment plant and related equipment is properly operated and maintained.
The winter of 2013/2014 was a long cold winter, ideal for making snowfluent in the Westport area. The Village failed to process enough snowfluent due to improper operation and a lack of maintenance. As a result, the Village found itself in an emergency situation in the spring.
The lagoons did not have enough capacity for the spring, summer and fall months, and were also in danger of overflowing.
On April 25, 2014, the ministry issued an order permitting the Village to conduct a controlled discharge of sewage.
The matter was referred to the Ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch and following an investigation charges were laid.
On November 30, 2016, The Corporation of the Village of Westport was convicted of one offence, was fined $10,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $2,500 and was given one year to pay the fine.