Charges flow from water theft

A Barrie man, 40, is facing charges of impaired driving, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and theft under $5,000, police report.
On Thursday, May 31, police received a 911 call reporting an impaired driver who had been travelling eastbound into Barrie on Dunlop Street. The water truck had been travelling in excess speeds and weaving in and out of oncoming traffic, police report.
Police located the truck at the end of Ferndale Industrial Parkway. It had been resting against cement barriers and connected to a fire hydrant via a large hose. The driver had been located at the side of the truck actively engaging a piece of equipment contained in the box of the truck.
Police quickly determined that the driver had been under the influence of a drug and a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) was conducted, which resulted in the driver performing poorly. He was transported to the police station where further testing was conducted by a qualified Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE), who determined the driver had been impaired by drug, police report.
A further investigation with the assistance of the City determined the driver had bypassed the attached meter on the hydrant which enabled him to illegally obtain water. Under certain conditions, water (along with any other contaminants) from the truck’s tank could have been drawn back into the drinking water system, potentially contaminating the potable water supply leading to the delivery of these contaminants to Barrie residents for consumption, police report.
The City regulates the operation of all hydrants in Barrie. To address any potential threats to public health the City has adopted a Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control By-law (2017-121).
The accused has a court date set for July 4.


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