A locally owned mobile home park is facing a hefty fine from the Ontario government.
Rupert Acres Limited owns a mobile home park located on Rupert Acres Drive in Aweres Township, just north of Sault Ste. Marie The park is comprised of approximately 75 mobile homes.
The park contains a non-municipal sewage works. The sewage works has two lagoons that were designed to work in sequence, known as the “south lagoon” and the “north lagoon.”
The south lagoon was designed to receive raw sewage, discharging via a control gate in a culvert to the north lagoon where effluent is discharged to the subsoil. Effluent limits of certain parameters, including total suspended solids, are monitored by mandatory sampling of boundary wells. On August 21, 2015, the company was issued an amended Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) for the sewage works.
The ECA mandates that the annual average concentration of the total suspended solids in the effluent sampled from the boundary wells does not exceed 40 milligrams per litre (mg/L). From the period beginning on January 1, 2020, up to and including December 31, 2020, the annual average concentration of the total suspended solids in three of the boundary wells at the park exceeded 40 mg/L.
The ministry’s Environmental Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges which resulted in the conviction.
Rupert Acres Limited was convicted of one violation under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), fined $100,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $25,000, and given six years to pay.
The conviction is for failing to comply with ministry approval by exceeding the maximum annual concentration limit for total suspended solids in effluent sampled from boundary monitoring wells.
Rupert Acres also faced a much smaller fine of $3,000 in September 2019 when it was convicted of one violation under the Ontario Water Resources Act.