Ringtail Camp Fined $11,320

Written by Communications, August 1, 2018

For Failure to Submit Water Samples

On July 19, 2018 Justice of the Peace (JP) Hiscox of the Peterborough Provincial Offences Court found Ringtail Camp Inc. guilty of failing to submit water samples for testing at the prescribed frequency.  In addition, the owner of Ringtail Camp Inc., Frank Ye, was found guilty of the same charge.  As the operator of the drinking water system, he was also sentenced to one year of probation.

Ringtail Camp is a seasonal trailer park located in Young’s Point with a drinking water system which provides drinking water to approximately 150 trailers.  As a seasonal trailer park, it is considered a Small Drinking Water System under Regulation 319/08 and is inspected for compliance with this regulation by Peterborough Public Health.

The charges were laid against Ringtail Camp Inc. and Mr. Ye in the fall of 2017 after an insufficient number of water samples were submitted by Mr. Ye in the 2017 operating season.  These charges follow repeated warnings about the lack of water sampling at the trailer park.  The Regulation requires that water samples at Ringtail Camp be submitted to a licenced lab on a monthly basis to ensure that the water is free from total coliforms and E. coli.

Ringtail Camp is one of over 350 Small Drinking Water Systems in Peterborough Public Health’s area.  Chris Eaton, a Public Health Inspector with Peterborough Public Health is tasked with assessing these water systems and monitoring their compliance with the Regulation.  “It’s not just about ensuring that water samples are submitted,” states Eaton, “we must also ensure that appropriate treatment equipment is installed, that chlorine levels are being monitored, records are being kept, and operators are properly trained.”

Over the past year, Peterborough Public Health has charged seven other Small Drinking Water Systems with failing to submit water samples at the prescribed frequency.  “In the case of these establishments, a ticket was issued” states Eaton, “and none resulted in a trial”.

Small Drinking Water Systems are establishments served by their own private well or surface water source.  They are public places located outside of the municipal water systems of Peterborough, Lakefield, Millbrook, Norwood, and Havelock. They include restaurants, motels, bed and breakfasts, golf courses, seasonal trailer parks, resorts – essentially anywhere the public has access to drinking water which is not from a municipal water system.

JP Hiscox stated that he “quite vividly” remembers the tragedy of Walkerton, Ontario. His worship was referring to the town in southwestern Ontario where 2300 residents were sickened and seven died from water contaminated by E. coli bacteria in the spring of 2000.  In reference to the lack of water samples submitted, he further stated “…it’s the callous disregard that I’m seeing here over a period of time…that I find disturbing.”

Prior to handing down his sentence of $11,320 fine and one year of probation, JP Hiscox stated “You could have multi-million dollar filtration equipment…but if it is not regularly checked to determine that it’s working properly…. It means nothing.”

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For further information, please contact:
Chris Eaton, Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 225