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HomeNewsNew measures put in place at Muskoka’s water plants

New measures put in place at Muskoka’s water plants

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The District of Muskoka has updated its water plant procedures to avoid a repeat of last year’s water advisories.

Mark Pringle, Muskoka Central Area Manager, told the Jan. 19 Engineering and Public Works Committee that all supplies at district water facilities will need to be individually labeled with a signed shipping manifest. He says staff will only accept scheduled deliveries of properly-labeled goods; anything else will be turned away at the truck.

In November, Gravenhurst’s water supply was placed under a do-not-use order, replaced the same day with a boil water advisory. A low fluoride alarm had led to the discovery of an improperly-labeled barrel of fluoride, and the water system was shut down in case the barrel contained something else. It was lifted three and a half days later

The culprit was a one-way check valve, according to a report to committee. The valve failed, allowing the treated water to flow back into the fluoride barrel and triggering the low fluoride alarm.

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Fred Jahn, Muskoka’s Commissioner of Engineering and Public Works, added that a supervisor would need to sign off on anything being added to the water, first checking that all requirements have been met. Jahn also apologized for the incident.

“Notwithstanding that the chemical manufacturer put the district in this position, I still just want to apologize to committee, Mayor Kelly and his council, members of the public, residents in Gravenhurst,” said Jahn. “The district did have some responsibility in procedures that were not met.”

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