Red flags raised in report on drinking water plants

Red flags raised in report on drinking water plants by Renata D’Aliesio, May 18, 2007, Calgary Herald
A government report card on the health of Alberta’s drinking water plants reveals more than two-thirds had serious problems in southern Alberta — more than any other region in the province. Problems ranging from unqualified water operators to inadequate disinfection to water supplies left vulnerable to contamination were cited in the most comprehensive examination that the province has ever done, but kept from the public. …  The Alberta government has been fighting to prevent the release of the full assessment, requested by the Edmonton Journal through access-to-information legislation in March 2006. But as an inquiry loomed with Information and Privacy Commissioner Frank Work, the province decided this week to release reports on the 534 water facilities examined in 2003. … “This is vital public knowledge and should be readily made available,” said Calgary Liberal MLA David Swann. Guarding the details, he contends, makes it difficult for people to hold elected officials and public employees accountable for the state of their drinking water. “One has to wonder,” Swann asked, “why there was an unwillingness to make this available and what they were covering up?”

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