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Concrete Manufacturer fined $25,000 for Failing to Control Concrete Waste

Court Bulletin

Concrete Manufacturer fined $25,000 for Failing to Control Concrete Waste

Convicted - Decast Ltd.

Location - Barrie

Description of Offence -  The conviction relates to allowing high pH drainage to escape into waters and potentially impair the water, and failing to notify the ministry.

Date of Offence - May 2, 2014

Date of Conviction - October 6, 2017,

Penalty Imposed - Decast Ltd. was convicted of one offence under the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA), was fined $25,000 plus a victim fine surcharge (VFS) of $6,250 and was given 30 days to pay.

Background - 

  • Decast Ltd. (Decast) operates an industrial manufacturing facility on Simcoe Road 56 in Utopia, Township of Essa, County of Simcoe (the site).
  • At the site, various types of concrete products are manufactured and are stored on an unpaved outdoor area. Some waste concrete is generated from the manufacturing operations.
  • In February 2014, Decast had a contractor commence work to prepare an undeveloped area of land on the north-east site area, for product storage and vehicle access. Waste concrete was used in this application as engineered fill. Some of the drainage from the area that was backfilled with the waste concrete was collected by a number of subsurface tile drains that discharged into two parallel subsurface drains.
  • These subsurface drains discharged into a municipal roadside ditch. The municipal roadside ditch discharges into a small, unnamed stream that is a permanent watercourse and a tributary of the Nottawasaga River.
  • On May 2, 2014, ministry staff received a report that the stream area was an unusual yellow colour and was very silty. Ministry staff inspected the stream the same day and confirmed that the water in the stream appeared yellow and cloudy, with a heavy accumulation of a cream-coloured silt on the bottom of the stream.
  • The material was visually traced upstream to the Decast site.
  • The water was tested, and the sample revealed that the pH level was between 12.0 to 12.5, which is higher than the pH of typical drainage. The ministry's maximum recommended value for pH in surface water of 8.5, as higher pH can have negative impacts to aquatic life.

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