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Water plant gets an A+

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The town's water treatment plant remained a top-notch operation for another year, scoring near perfect on its recent Ministry of Environment (MoE) inspection report.

Every year by March 31, the town must submit to the MoE a drinking water systems annual report, also known as a Schedule 22, Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft, chair of the Operations and Facilities executive committee, said during Monday night's council meeting.

The report is thorough review of all aspects of the municipal potable water system—from the intake of water on the upper river and then through the plant and the distribution system to every tap in town, he added.

The report also includes quantities and flow rates of water used compared to the approved rates in their permit to take water.

For example, the plant takes in and treats 5,000-6,000 cubic metres (1.32 million gallons) of water per day, which represents 33 percent of what it is permitted to take in.

The report also includes the findings of an unannounced, focused inspection conducted by the MoE on Feb. 12.

“Our final inspection rating from this review was 99.12 percent, and the only reason it was not 100 percent was because we did not record the looping of a watermain on Frenette Avenue on a Form 1 document,” Coun. Wiedenhoeft noted.

“Of all the services the town provides to the residents of Fort Frances, I personally believe that the provision of high-quality, clean, fresh, and safe potable water is the most critical of all the services we provide,” he remarked.

“One little mistake could result in widespread sickness.”

Coun. Wiedenhoeft recognized all of the efforts and vigilance of the employees at the water treatment plant, those working to maintain the 70 km of the town's water distribution system, and all Public Works personnel for their hard work and dedication “in keeping us safe and well-hydrated.”

In related news, Mayor June Caul gave kudos to Operations and Facilities manager Travis Rob, who helped out Nigigoonsiminikaaning Nation late Friday afternoon.

She noted Chief Will Windigo's office called the town in dire straits. The community had been without water for a whole day and needed parts to fix a frozen water main.

Rob responded right away.

Mayor Caul said she got an e-mail from Chief Windigo expressing thanks for Rob's help.

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