The city of North Battleford pleaded guilty in provincial court Thursday for failing to keep proper records for its water treatment plants.

But city officials are saying today it's not a big deal and that the reaction and fine "could be considered excessive."

The city admitted that it "failed to comply with a permit to operate by failing to conduct specified sampling and/or monthly reviews, provide turbidity trending data and maintain operational records or logs, do required testing, or keep proper records, between March 2012 and August 2013."    

'Water quality was never threatened and the water has been and continues to be safe.' - Mayor Ian Hamilton


The city was fined a total of $4,900.   

Mayor Ian Hamilton says the overlooked tests were not related to safety and security. They were quarterly tests and in some ways redundant.

"We're not aware of anyone else being fined for such omissions," Hamilton said.

When asked if the city is held to a higher standard, Hamilton said, "I guess we are, and maybe rightfully so, too."

The plea brings back uncomfortable memories for people in the city. In April 2001, it was hit by a cryptosporidium outbreak that made more than 7,000 people sick.    

The waterborne parasite had gotten into the drinking water system. No deaths were attributed to the outbreak.

This triggered a provincial inquiry and 28 recommendations.