The devil is in the details of Mono’s water quality audit

April 11, 2024   ·   0 Comments


Clarity is crucial in effective communication.

Particularly when the issue is something as important as water quality management. That need for clarity was indicated during a discussion at Mono council’s April 9 meeting.

Michael Dunmore, the town’s CAO, said the 2023 Drinking Water Quality Management Standard Annual Review’s audit report is basically a communication tool for council.

“There were some comments on the internal and external reports,” he said. “But, generally, everything’s being assessed and dealt with as we move forward. It’s a communication tool for council of a year in review.”

“It more or less repeats everything that we’ve seen in the more detailed report,” said Deputy Mayor Fred Nix.

Nix chaired the council meeting in Mayor John Creelman’s absence.

Councillor Elaine Capes asked about a detail in the report into the review. It indicates the minutes of an October 2023 management review meeting aren’t available.

“I wasn’t sure about turnaround time on minutes (but) it seems like an awfully long time,” she said.

“I believe that was definitely flagged as an opportunity for improvement,” said Dunmore. “And they’re definitely working towards that.”

“It just seemed like that’s a shame,” Capes said. “That minutes should be available right away.”

The report on the review also mentioned that emergency contacts were different.

“But did it have all the correct contacts on it?” Capes said. “If something had happened, would somebody have been able to have made the appropriate emergency contact?”

“This is all private information to internal sources,” Dunmore said.

He said those contacts are available to him, Mono Public Works Director Matt Doner and Orangeville’s water works operator-in-chief.

“And we definitely know the directors and the appropriate numbers,” he said and added those contacts are regularly updated to include any staffing changes.

“I just thought it’s kind of an interesting comment,” Capes said about the report’s line that indicated the June 2023 contact list was different.

She said the report wasn’t very well organized as a document from an auditor.

“On Page 5 it talks about the Ultima Gas Monitor February calibration not being done,” she said. “However, in the summary is doesn’t say that there was an NCR (non-conformance report), but that’s listed as an NCR. They’re not consistent.”

A non-conformance report, which is sometimes referred to as a non-conformity report, identifies discrepancies between the condition of a product and requirements defined by quality standards.

Among “minor nonconformities” included in the audit was the detail of how “the calibration of the equipment process is not effectively maintained.”

Dunmore attributed that to different formatting than what council is accustomed to from past audit reports.

“So council is seeing a different auditor for sure,” Dunmore said.

The identified NCR was in reference to a carbon monoxide detector at the Coles Tower where there once was a gas-fired generator. That generator isn’t used anymore.

Mono’s drinking water needs are serviced by the Cardinal Woods Water Supply System and the Coles and Island Lake Water Supply System.

“It [the detector] was definitely identified as non-calibrated and non-tested,” he said. “But whether it had any impact to the operations was probably why it was left out of the non-conformity (report).”

Capes said there’s inconsistency in the audit reporting.

“We dig into the details, not the summary,” Dunmore said and added that the carbon monoxide detector has since been removed from the tower or recalibrated.

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