Island Lake with blades of green grass in the front on a nice sunny day

Unsolicited requests for water testing and inspections in private homes

Jan 17, 2018 | Public Works | General | Public Notice

The Town of Orangeville's Public Works Department is aware that residents in the Town of Orangeville have been receiving unsolicited at-home visits and requests from people asking to test the water or inspect the water meter or water filters inside their homes or apartments.

The presentation used by these people can sometimes give the impression they are working on behalf of the Town of Orangeville, or that there are concerns with the quality of the Town’s drinking water. In most cases, these people represent companies that are attempting to sell residents in-home water treatment systems. The use of these in-home systems is a matter of personal preference.

The Orangeville drinking water system is owned and operated by the Town of Orangeville. Residents are advised that the Town of Orangeville does not hire privately owned companies to test the water on its behalf. All in-home water testing done by the Town is performed by the Town's certified water works operators, and is generally only done at the request of the resident. Water works operators carry Town-issued photo identification to show residents prior to entering a home.

Residential water meters in Orangeville are serviced under contract with Neptune Technology (Canada) Ltd. The Town will advise residents in advance by writing if their water meter is not reading properly and needs to be repaired or replaced. Neptune Technology employees working on behalf of the Town always carry appropriate personal identification with them and will present it to residents before entering a house or apartment to work on the water meter.

Residents should be aware of the following:

  • Orangeville's drinking water system is operated in compliance with provincial regulations.
  • The quality of Orangeville's drinking water must satisfy provincial drinking water quality standards.
  • Orangeville's water works operators must be certified and licensed in accordance with provincial regulations.
  • Orangeville's drinking water system is inspected annually by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  • Water samples collected by Orangeville water works operators are tested at a provincially accredited laboratory.
  • The annual water works report is available to the public on the Town's website at www.orangeville.ca. The report provides the results of the regulated water quality testing done by the Town.

Town staff is available to answer any questions residents may have about the Orangeville drinking water system. Please contact the Orangeville Public Works Department at 519-941-0440 Ext. 2250 or by e-mail at [email protected] .

Provincial legislation re door-to-door sales is effective March 1, 2018. There is also a consumer complaint process available to Ontario residents at https://www.ontario.ca/page/filing-consumer-complaint

On April 13, 2017, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 59, the Putting Consumers First Act (Consumer Protection Statute Law Amendment), 2017 (the PCFA). The PCFA helps protect Ontarians by amending the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA) to enable the restriction of unsolicited door-to-door contracts in sectors, specified by regulation.

The ministry consulted with stakeholders on proposed regulatory changes from July 5, 2017 to August 21, 2017, and regulations have now been established that will come into force on March 1, 2018 to implement various provisions of the PCFA.

As of March 1, 2018, the CPA, and amendments to the General Regulation (O.Reg. 17/05) under the CPA, will restrict door-to-door contracts for the following goods and services:

  • furnaces;
  • air conditioners, air cleaners, air purifiers;
  • water heaters;
  • water treatment devices, water purifiers, water filters, water softeners;
  • duct cleaning services;
  • bundles of the goods and services (such as HVAC).

When the new rules come into effect, businesses selling, leasing or contracting for one of these goods or services must be invited by a consumer to attend the consumer’s home for the purpose of entering into a contract, unless there is an effective contract in place between the consumer and the business. If there is an effective contract in place, the businesses will be able to initiate contact with the consumer and subsequently enter into a contract in the consumer’s home so long as they were invited to attend the home and the consumer agreed to possible solicitation for a prescribed good or service. Businesses contracting in the consumer’s home will be required to retain records of how the contact with the consumer was made.

As of March 1, 2018, contracts entered into that violate these new rules, or are drawn up because of misleading marketing materials left at consumers’ homes, will be void, and consumers will be able to keep the goods and services without any obligations.

In addition to restricting door-to-door contracting for the prescribed goods and services listed above, an additional minister’s regulation has been approved, setting out new disclosure requirements in consumer agreements for the prescribed goods and services and requiring suppliers to provide a plain language disclosure document to consumers. These new disclosure requirements will also come into effect on March 1, 2018. Improved disclosures in consumer agreements are intended to better protect consumers when signing contracts in their home.

Consumers will have a 10-day cooling-off period, without penalty, to cancel any types of goods or services sold in their home, unless the consumer solicited the goods or services from the supplier and requested the supplier begin delivery of goods or performance of services within the 10-day period.