Uncertified worker lied about testing Alberta town's drinking water for 7 years

A former employee of the Town of Oyen in southern Alberta has been fined $1,000 for not monitoring the town's drinking water over a seven-year period.

Darcy Dobrosky has been fined $1,000 and can't be employed by water facility for 3 years

A former employee of an Alberta town has been fined after he failed for seven years to properly test if the town's drinking water was safe. (Getty Images/Flickr RF)

A former employee of the Town of Oyen in southern Alberta has been fined $1,000 for not monitoring the town's drinking water over a seven-year period.

Darcy Dobrosky worked for the town for 37 years and was grandfathered into the public works foreman job. One of his duties was to monitor the town's drinking water — despite failing the formal certification required to do the job.

Dobrosky was required to take four water samples each month from around the town, and he'd write in his reports that he had taken the samples at different locations.

Faking water-testing locations

The town's chief administrative officer became suspicious when she realized Dobrosky had reported taking water from the town office, where she had never seen him, and from a car wash that didn't have an accessible external tap.

Dobrosky admitted he was taking all of the samples from the town shop — and telling other workers to also collect samples only from the same location, from 2009 to 2016.

An emergency town council meeting was called and Dobrosky resigned.

He pleaded guilty under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act on Oct. 24. He is banned from operating or being employed at any water or wastewater facility in the province for the next three years.

Oyen has a population of 1,000 people and is about 290 kilometres east of Calgary near the Saskatchewan border.

The town distributes its drinking water from the town of Hanna, which is about 100 kilometres to the west. That means it has to follow certain regulations from Alberta Environment and Parks, including having a certified employee in charge and frequent water tests from randomized locations to check for chlorine and bacteria contaminants.

"Alberta Environment and Parks focuses on education, prevention and enforcement to ensure all Albertans enjoy a clean and healthy environment. The ministry enforces environmental regulations when individuals or companies fail to comply with legislation," the ministry said in an emailed statement.