Correctional Service of Canada

Correctional Service of Canada

June 10, 2005 18:46 ET

Correctional Service of Canada: Stony Mountain's Health & Safety Committee Working Together to Ensure Safe Drinking Water

STONY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTION, WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - June 10, 2005) - Because of diligent safety practices and an effective multi barrier approach to water safety, the quality of drinking water from the tap has remained safe for staff, visitor and inmates despite a recent inadvertent and unexpected contamination of one of the institution's water supply wells.

During the last two months, a highly improbable series of events came together with the result that dirty water leaked into one of the wells. Detected immediately, staff took measures to isolate and clean up the well before any contaminated water found its way into the water supply. Decontamination efforts are continuing at this time and will continue until a successful restoration of that well is achieved.

Staff were concerned that the contamination could spread though the aquifer and began a program on testing of both well locations. This week, barely detectable levels of coli forms were measured at the second well site. Though the level of coli forms remain so low as to have no effect the water quality or safety and no increases are anticipated, elevated levels of testing and monitoring continues as a precautionary measure.

Stony Mountain Institution has worked closely with representatives from Health Canada, Manitoba Water Stewardship, and neighboring water users to ensure to ensure the viability of action plans for the clean-up process and share information.

An analysis of the incident is planned to determine what if any measures can be taken to effectively reduce the probability of another similar occurrence.

The incident underlines the need for continued vigilance when it comes to safeguarding water sources. It also highlights the effective safety mechanisms at Stony Mountain Institution and the timely and dedicated efforts of the Maintenance Department and the joint union-management Occupational Health and Safety Committee, who tirelessly work to maintain a safe environment. The institution is in the process of fully briefing staff and inmates on the safety measures being taken.

Stony Mountain Institution's water system is independent to that of the adjacent Village of Stony Mountain; however the Municipality of Rockwood has been briefed on the situation. In recognition of water safety and compliance standards, Stony Mountain Institution, the Village of Stony Mountain and Rockwood Municipality signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2004 in the event of any of their water systems being contaminated.

Stony Mountain Institution is a federal institution for medium security inmates located 11 kilometers north of Winnipeg. There are currently 528 inmates and 386 employees in total at the facility.

Contact Information

  • Correctional Service of Canada: Stony Mountain Institution
    Linda Garwood-Filbert
    Unit Manager
    (204) 344-5111