Canada

Walkerton water manager to undergo medical tests

The manager of Walkerton's water supply will go through a psychiatric exam to determine if he's mentally fit to testify at a public inquiry.

The judicial inquiry is looking into how a deadly strain of E. coli entered the town's water system in May. The outbreak killed seven people and sickened 2,000 others, making it the worst disaster of its kind in Canadian history.

Stan Koebel, who was in charge of the town's water during the water disaster, was scheduled to testify this week.

But his psychiatrist has suggested Koebel is not competent to give evidence because of his fragile state of mind.

Koebel has not spoken publicly about what happened. He has been on a leave of absence from the Walkerton public utilities commission since the water disaster.

The Ontario Clean Water Agency now oversees Walkerton's water supply.

Earlier testimony has indicated Koebel apparently knew about the E. coli contamination but didn't tell anyone because he was frantically trying to flush out the water system.

The inquiry also heard emotional evidence by Mayor David Thomson last week, outlining intense meetings leading up to the E. coli crisis.

Meanwhile, people in Walkerton may be able to turn on their taps again after seven months of relying on bottled and boiled water.

Authorities are expected to announce on Tuesday that it's finally safe to drink tap water in the town.

now