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Dennis Coelho fined $6,000 for Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) violation

Court Bulletin

Dennis Coelho fined $6,000 for Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) violation

Convicted - Dennis Coelho

Location - Guelph

Description of Offence -  The conviction relates to giving/submitting false or misleading information, either orally, in writing or electronically, to a Provincial Officer.

Date of Offence - on or about May 4, 2016

Date of Conviction - January 17, 2018

Penalty Imposed - The court imposed a fine of $6,000 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge (VFS) of $1,500 with 12 months to pay.

Background - 

  • Countryview Retirement Residence ("Countryview"), located on Wellington County Road 9, Township of Mapleton, County of Wellington, is a facility that provides limited nursing care to seniors.
  • At the relevant time, Dennis Coelho was the "operator" of Countryview's drinking-water system which is registered with the ministry.
  • On May 4, 2016, in response to an adverse water quality incident at Countryview, the ministry contacted Mr. Coelho via telephone and asked him who the certified, trained person for the drinking-water system was. Mr. Coelho stated that he was the "trained person", and that he had completed the ministry's required "Operation of Small Drinking Water System" course in November 2015.
  • On May 5, 2016, the ministry conducted a site inspection of Countryview and found that the trained person had not attended the site and a copy of Mr. Coelho's trained person certificate was not available for review.
  • Between May 12 and June 8, 2016, Mr. Coelho had several interactions with the ministry and the Walkerton Clean Water Centre, maintaining that he had completed the ministry's course in November 2015.
  • The Walkerton Clean Water Centre confirmed that no records existed that Mr. Coelho completed the course in November 2015. They also verified that Mr. Coelho completed the training and related examination on May 15, 2016, approximately two weeks after the initial water quality incident at Countryview.
  • On June 8, 2016, the ministry contacted Mr. Coelho via e-mail at which time he confirmed that he had provided the false information.

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