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Torbear Contracting Inc., Woodbridge, had a contract to complete upgrades at a sewage treatment plant.  The project required that the outdoor containment area surrounding the chemical storage tanks of sodium hypochlorite be expanded and a drain be installed to allow for easy removal of rainwater. The containment area was designed to trap any sodium hypochlorite which may escape the tanks or piping. On September 11, 2009, during construction activities, a pipe was broken accidentally

and approximately 3,446 litres of sodium hypochlorite spilled from the containment area and entered the Don River through the treatment plant’s effluent channel. No effort was made by the company to stop the chemical from leaving the containment area. Shortly after the spill, it was discovered that a large number of fish were found dead or dying in the Don River downstream of the area.

Torbear was convicted of one violation under theOntario Water Resources Act for permitting the discharge of sodium hypochlorite into an effluent channel that leads to the Don River, resulting in impairing the water quality of the River. They were fined $80,000 plus the 25% victim fine surcharge.

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