Leak in sewer pipes caused wastewater to spill into Assiniboine River
WINNIPEG - November 25, 2003 - Leaks in a pair of sewer pipes that cross the Assiniboine River at Ash Street caused approximately 7,000 cubic metres of wastewater to drain into the river. The leaks have been temporarily halted, and repairs are underway. Sewer service will continue as normal.
These pressurized pipes normally transport wastewater from the River Heights neighbourhood, across the river and on to the North End Water Pollution Control Centre, where it is treated and released to the Red River.
The leaks are located in the riverbed, creating challenging repair conditions. Crews, including professional divers, will work throughout the night to repair the leaks as quickly as possible.
Dave Wardrop, Field Service Operations Engineer with the Water and Waste Department, says, "It is very unusual that both pipes would break at the same time. This leads us to believe that riverbank movement due to dry soil conditions may be the cause of the breaks. The paired pipe design would normally allow us to take one pipe out of service if required, while the other would continue to carry wastewater to the treatment plant."
While the repairs are underway, wastewater is being stored within the sewer system, preventing further spills to the river. Wardrop is hopeful that the repairs can be completed before this limited storage capacity is exceeded.
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