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Reports on untreated sewage

As requested by the Province of Manitoba, we report on the incidents of untreated sewer release into the environment as a result of a disruption to our wastewater collection system. These events are usually the result of something unanticipated like a watermain break or a power outage. When sewer operations are disrupted, the sewage can be released into the environment, which helps protect public health and prevent property damage like basement flooding.

2017

Date Location Estimated
amount
Estimated
duration
Cause
Nov. 18 108 m northeast of the intersection at Molson Street and Concordia Avenue Unknown Unknown Blockage due to grease buildup
Incident details and response
  • On Saturday November 18, 2017 at approximately 6:00 PM, we received information that wastewater was coming out of a manhole located 108 m northeast of the intersection at Molson Street and Concordia Avenue.
  • At 7:00pm, a crew attended the site and confirmed wastewater was trickling out of a wastewater sewer manhole and was entering a land drainage catch basin.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit arrived on site and a blockage reported to be "grease like" in the wastewater sewer was cleared by approximately 8:00 PM.
  • After a further investigation, the crew confirmed that the wastewater was contained below the invert of the catch basin outlet pipe and wastewater did not enter into the land drainage system.
  • Wastewater did pond on the ground surface around the manhole and as a result approximately 0.5 square meters of contaminated grass and soil has been removed.
  • The volume and duration of wastewater discharged to the environment, as a result of the blockage, is unknown. However it was not observed to have entered the land drainage system and is therefore believed to be less than 1000 litres.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Saturday November 18, 2017.
Nov. 7 2700 mm Ruby Storm Relief Sewer Outfall located at 980 Palmerston Avenue Unknown Unknown Blocked weir
Incident details and response
  • On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at approximately 4:22 PM, a contractor performing inspection work for the City, notified our maintenance supervisor that flow was entering the Ruby Storm Relief Sewer from an adjacent combined sewer.
  • A maintenance crew was dispatched and discovered that the combined sewer on Banning Street was partially blocked and backing up over a weir and into the Ruby Storm Relief Sewer.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit was used to liberate the blockage and the overflow stopped at approximately 8:45 PM.
  • We do not know when the overflow started therefore the total amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is unknown.
  • However, the overflow rate is estimated to be 0.75 litres per second or 0.065 ML/day.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
Nov. 1 1600 mm Marion Combined Sewer Outfall located at 6 Lyndale Drive 0.14 ML Approx. 45 mins Water main break
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at approximately 10:56 AM, our McPhillips Control Centre received a weir overflow alarm from the Marion Pump Station.
  • A crew was dispatched to the station and arrived at 11:06 AM, at which time the positive gate was closed to prevent further discharge to the Red River.
  • It was determined that there was a water main break at the intersection of Traverse Avenue and Roger Street which contributed to excess flow in the Marion Combined Sewer system.
  • The flow exceeded the capacity of the lift station pumps and diluted wastewater was discharged to the Red River.
  • We determined that the discharge occurred from approximately 10:49 AM until 11:26 AM.
  • The water main break was isolated and our crew removed wastewater from between the weir and positive gate.
  • The Marion Pump Station returned back to normal operation at approximately 11:30 AM and the positive gate was re-opened at 5:45 PM.
  • The amount of diluted wastewater discharged to the Red River is estimated to be 0.14 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
Oct. 23 1950 mm Storm Relief Sewer Outfall located at Donald Street and Assiniboine River 0.18 ML Unknown Blockage due to grease deposits
Incident details and response
  • On Monday, October 23, 2017 at approximately 11:00 AM, our 311 Contact Center received notice of a “black liquid discharge into the river” at the Donald Storm Relief Sewer Outfall.
  • At 11:45 AM, a maintenance crew determined that wastewater was overflowing into the storm relief sewer at an unknown location and due to an unknown cause.
  • At 8:29 PM, an overflow point was located and vacuum cleaning unit immediately began cleaning the downstream sewer to clear the blockage.
  • The combined sewer was found to contain large amounts of hardened grease deposits and with both vacuum units in operation the overflow stopped at approximately 11:45 PM.
  • Cleaning crews currently remain on site and will be monitoring and cleaning the upstream and downstream sewers over the next few days as required to reduce the risk of future overflows at this location.
  • Currently the flow out of the Donald Street Outfall has been reduced but has not stopped.
  • Multiple crews are currently investigating all possible overflow locations into the Donald Storm Relief Sewer and will continue to do so over night until all have been inspected and will submit a follow up report of their findings.
  • The flow over the weir was estimated to be approximately 4 litres per second and the amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River from the time of notification is estimated to be 0.18 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Monday, October 23, 2017.
  • Update to the October 23, 2017 Environmental Discharge Report

  • On Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at approximately 8:00 PM, a blockage was located on Hargrave Street mid-block between St. Mary Avenue and Graham Avenue.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit was called in and the blockage was liberated at approximately 10:30 PM.
  • This incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at approximately 11:00 PM.
  • On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 8:00 AM, the flow out of the Donald Street Outfall did not appear to be any less than on the previous morning.
  • As we now believe that no more wastewater can be entering the system through overflow connections to the combined system, it is our belief that the remaining flow out of the Donald outfall can be attributed to ground water inflow and infiltration.
  • Update #2 to the October 23, 2017 Environmental Discharge Report

  • On Thursday, October 26, 2017, we decided to thoroughly clean all combined sewers in the Donald Storm Sewer catchment area, based on the results of the district wide overflow inspections carried out on the evening of Tuesday, October 24.
  • This work began on the afternoon of Friday, October 27 and will likely be completed by mid-November.
  • On Monday, October 30, 2017 at 10:06 AM, an inspection of the Donald Outfall indicated that wastewater may again be spilling into the Donald SRS system.
  • The duration of the overflow is not known, but is believed to have started sometime in the preceding 24 hours.
  • At 12:07 PM on Monday, crews began a second area-wide inspection of all possible sources of wastewater overflowing to the Donald Storm Sewer.
  • This inspection revealed no active overflows. It was decided that a sandbag weir be constructed in the Donald SRS, near the outfall, to contain all flow and to pump this wastewater back into the combined system. Eventually the wastewater will treated at the North End Sewage Treatment Plant (otherwise known as North End Water Pollution Control Centre or NEWPCC).
  • A pipeline inspection contractor was called in to begin CCTV inspections on the storm relief system pipelines at locations previously identified through manhole inspections.
  • The weir and pumping system was operational at approximately 3:00 AM on October 31 and this arrangement will remain in place and will be manned around the clock until the area wide cleaning is complete.
Oct. 12 525 mm Land Drainage Sewer Outfall located at 41 Clayton Drive 850 L Unknown Blockage due to grease buildup
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at approximately 9:38 am, 311 received a call from a resident reporting that wastewater was overflowing from a manhole and onto the street.
  • On Thursday, October 12, 2017, the crew arrived on site and found a blockage in the sewer on Clayton Drive, between St. Anne’s Road and the first manhole east of St. Anne’s Road.
  • The blockage was causing wastewater to flow out the top of the manhole in front of 41 Clayton Drive and into a land drainage catch basin located in the pavement. The blockage was cleared by 2:45 pm.
  • The cause of the blockage was determined to be a buildup of grease.
  • The sewer will inspected by CCTV to determine if there is any physical issue with the sewer itself that may have caused this blockage.
  • Normally, reports of wastewater overflows are attended to immediately, however, due to an internal communication error, response was delayed.
  • The City will be reviewing this issue and corrective action will be taken, as required.
  • The overflow was described as “trickling” into the catch basin and the total amount discharged to the Seine River as a result of the blockage is estimated to be 850 litres.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Thursday, October 12, 2017.
Aug. 14 1350 mm Strathmillan Combined Sewer Outfall located at 2396 Portage Avenue 0.030 ML Approx. 1 hour Water main flushing
Incident details and response
  • On Monday, August 14, 2017 at approximately 12:46 PM, our McPhillips Control Centre received a weir overflow alarm from the Strathmillan Combined Sewer Diversion Station.
  • The SCADA operator, who was aware of water main flushing being performed in the area by City of Winnipeg Water Services Division, immediately called them to stop the work and also dispatched a maintenance crew to attend the site.
  • At 1:50 PM, levels shown by our instrumentation had subsided and the overflow appeared to have stopped.
  • When our crew arrived at 1:15 PM, they confirmed that an overflow had occurred recently, but that an overflow was not occurring at the time and that the flow diversion was operating normally.
  • Flow subsequently increased and began to overflow again, according to instrumentation, finally subsiding at 1:50 PM.
  • In reviewing our station instrumentation, an overflow from the Strathmillan Diversion Outfall is believed to have occurred between 12:46 PM to 1:16 PM and 1:23 PM to 1:50 PM.
  • The total amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be approximately 0.030 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Monday, August 14, 2017.
Aug. 8 300 mm Land Drainage Outfall located along Assiniboine Park Drive Unknown Unknown Illegal sanitary connection
Incident details and response
  • On August 8, 2017 at approximately 1:30 PM, during a routine preventative maintenance check of our river crossing chamber, a crew discovered a strong odour coming from a nearby land drainage outfall.
  • Environmental Standards Division was contacted and arrived at 2:30 PM and took a sample of the liquid for analysis.
  • On August 11, 2017 at 8 AM, an illegal sanitary connection from a building in the Assiniboine Park Zoo to the land drainage sewer was found. Later that morning, at 11:16AM, it was confirmed that E. coli was present in the sample taken on August 8.
  • At this time the buildings toilet has been disabled until the illegal connection is rerouted to the wastewater sewer.
  • The volume and duration of wastewater discharged to the environment is unknown.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.
Aug. 2 Manhole located 108m northeast of the Molson St and Concordia Ave intersection Unknown Approx. 4.5 hours Unknown
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at approximately 6:09 PM, our 311 call center received information from a local resident that wastewater was coming out of a manhole located approximated 108 m northeast of the Molson St and Concordia Ave intersection.
  • A crew attended the site at 8:20 PM and confirmed wastewater “seeping” out of the manhole was entering a land drainage catch basin.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit removed the excess wastewater from the wastewater manhole stopping the seepage by approximately 10:50 PM and then cleared a blockage in the 250 mm wastewater sewer.
  • After a further investigation the crew confirmed that the wastewater was contained below the invert of the catch basin outlet pipe and as such wastewater did not enter any local body of water.
  • However the wastewater did pond on the ground surface around the manhole and we will remove any contaminated sod and soil.
  • The area that was saturated with wastewater measured approximately 0.8 square meters.
  • The cause of the blockage is unknown at this time and we plan to have this sewer inspected by CCTV to determine if there is any physical issue with the sewer that may have caused this blockage.
  • The volume and duration of wastewater discharged to the environment as a result of the blockage is unknown.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, August 2, 2017.
  • Update to the August 2, 2017 Environmental Discharge Report

  • The contaminated sod/soil has been removed from around the wastewater manhole and has been replaced with topsoil and grass seed.
  • We have televised the 250 wastewater sewer and discovered a utility cable cross bore through the 250 wastewater sewer, 9.4 m downstream of the wastewater manhole overflow point. This was the likely cause of the blockage.
  • We are in the process of determining which utility this cable belongs to. At that time, we’ll have the utility owner repair the breach or we will complete the repair ourselves.
  • Until this repair has been completed, a crew will monitor the wastewater manhole and sewer on a daily basis. Once the repairs to the sewer are complete a further update will follow.
Jul. 21 Woodhaven Combined Sewer Outfall located at 2782 Assiniboine Avenue 0.010 ML Approx. 12 minutes Water main flushing
Incident details and response
  • On Friday, July 21, 2017 at approximately 10:13 AM, our McPhillips Control Centre received a weir overflow alarm from the Woodhaven Wastewater Pumping Station.
  • A maintenance crew was dispatched and arrived at the Woodhaven station at 11:00 AM.
  • The SCADA operator also called City of Winnipeg Water Services as there was water-main flushing in the area and asked them to throttle back on the amount of water they were discharging to the system.
  • At 10:30 levels shown by our instrumentation had subsided and the overflow appeared to have stopped.
  • When our crew arrived at 11:00 AM they confirmed that an overflow had occurred recently and that our pumping station was operating normally.
  • The total amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be approximately 0.010 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Friday, July 21, 2017.
Jul. 12 Tylehurst Combined Sewer Outfall located at 499 Tylehurst Street 1.0 ML Approx. 1.5 hours Power failure
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at approximately 9:20 AM, a power failure occurred at the Tylehurst Wastewater Pumping Station.
  • The SCADA Operator called a maintenance crew to attend the station who connected a mobile backup generator and restored power to the pumps at 10:40 AM.
  • Manitoba Hydro is still working to correct the local power issue at this time.
  • At the time of the power failure the Tylehurst Station was already overflowing due to a rain event that began at 10:40 PM Tuesday, July 11.
  • The loss of power to the station caused diluted wastewater to be discharged to the Assiniboine River that would have otherwise been pumped to the treatment plant during the ongoing overflow event.
  • The amount of diluted wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River that is attributed to the power failure is estimated to be 1.0 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
Jun. 21 Mager Drive Combined Sewer Outfall located at 3 Mager Drive 2.69 ML Approx. 2 hours Power failure
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at approximately 3:46 PM, the SCADA operator at our McPhillips Control Centre received a power fail alarm from the Mager Drive Wastewater Pump Station.
  • A standby crew arrived at the station at 5:25 PM with our mobile generator.
  • The generator was connected at 6:02 PM restoring power to the station.
  • Due to the rain that was occurring, the crew decided not to operate the positive gate to contain the overflow due to the risk of basement flooding.
  • Manitoba Hydro restored power to the station at 6:13 PM.
  • At the time of the power failure, our instrumentation indicated that an overflow was already occurring due to the rain event that had started earlier that day.
  • It is estimated that the overflow due to the power outage was approximately between the hours of 3:46 PM and 6:02 PM, June 21.
  • The total volume of diluted wastewater discharged to the Red River that is attributed to the power failure is estimated to be 2.69 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Jun. 14 Tylehurst Combined Sewer Outfall located at 499 Wolseley Avenue West 0.69 ML Unknown Power failure
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at approximately 12:20 AM, a power failure occurred at the Tylehurst Wastewater Pumping Station.
  • The SCADA Operator called a standby crew to attend the station with the intention of connecting a mobile backup generator.
  • MB Hydro power was restored at 12:55 AM and all pumps began operating as normal before the mobile generator could be connected.
  • At the time of the power failure the Tylehurst Station was already overflowing due to a rain event that began at 11:13 PM, Tuesday, June 13.
  • The loss of power to the station caused wastewater to be discharged to the Assiniboine that would have otherwise been pumped to the treatment plant during the ongoing overflow event.
  • The amount of diluted wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River that is attributed to the power failure is estimated to be 0.69 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
Jun. 10 Olive Wastewater Lift Station located at 2461 Assiniboine Crescent 0.5 ML Unknown Power failure
Incident details and response
  • A power failure occurred at the Olive Lift Station between 3:03 PM and 17:10 PM June 10
  • A standby crew was dispatched to the McPhillips Control Center to retrieve a mobile generator.
  • A mobile generator was connected at 7:10 PM, however by the time it was connected hydro was fully restored.
  • The total volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be 0.5 ML.
Jun. 10 Conway Combined Lift Station located at 2206 Portage Avenue 0.18 ML Unknown Power failure
Incident details and response
  • A power failure occurred at the Conway Lift Station between 3:03 PM and 17:10 PM June 10.
  • A standby crew was responding to the Olive Lift Station as they were connecting a mobile generator to the Olive Lift Station the power was restored.
  • The crew then proceeded to Conway Lift Station and upon arrival at 17:00 PM the power was restored.
  • The total volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be 0.18 ML.
Jun. 10 Strathmillan Wastewater Diversion Station located at 2396 Portage Avenue Unknown Unknown Power failure
Incident details and response
  • Due to the power failure at the Olive Lift Station between 3:03 PM and 17:10 PM June 10, this resulted in the interceptor sewer between Strathmillan Diversion Station and Olive Lift Station becoming surcharged and may have caused an overflow.
  • The amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is unknown.
Jun. 10 Mager Drive Lift Station located at 3 Mager Drive 1.86 ML Unknown Power failure
Incident details and response
  • A power failure occurred at the Mager Drive station between 2:59 PM, June 10 and 12:45 AM, June 11 however, we were able to close the positive gate at 4:45 PM on June 10 to contain the discharge as well as connect a mobile generator at 7:10 PM, June 10 restoring power to the station.
  • It is estimated that an overflow occurred at this location approximately between the hours of 3:21 PM and 4:45 PM, June 10.
  • The total volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River is estimated to be 1.86 ML.
Jun. 3 High Level Wastewater Overflow Outfall located at 1951 Burrows Avenue Unknown Unknown Pumps stopped working
Incident details and response
  • UPDATE –June 9, 2017 – Upon further investigation of video footage collected at the site, it became clear that there were no overflows into Lake 3-2 Storm Retention Basin or the Assiniboine River. The pipes had that would normally lead to an overflow in this scenario had been abandoned in the past and not noted in our information systems. Our systems are in the process of being updated to reflect this.
  • On Saturday, June 3rd 2017 at approximately 2:04 AM, our 311 call center received information from a local resident that wastewater was backing up into their basement.
  • A crew attended the site, confirmed that wastewater was backing up in the system and proceeded to find the blockage.
  • The crew determined that the pumps at the wastewater pumping station for the catchment area had stopped working and was the cause of the backup.
  • The pumps were restarted manually at 5:30 AM and the system was pumped down by 7:00 AM.
  • The amount and duration of wastewater discharged to Lake 3-2 Storm Retention Basin and the Assiniboine River as a result of the pump failure is unknown.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on June 5, 2017.
Apr. 27 High Level Wastewater Overflow Outfall located opposite 63 Lonsdale Drive Unknown Unknown Heavy sewage and rags
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday, April 27, 2017 at approximately 1:40 PM, our 311 call center received information from a local resident that wastewater was being discharged into Sturgeon Creek from the 300 mm wastewater overflow pipe.
  • A crew attended the site, confirmed an overflow and determined that the wastewater sewer on Lonsdale Drive was completely blocked causing wastewater to backup and overflow into Sturgeon Creek.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit was called in, the blockage was liberated and the overflow stopped by 3:43 PM.
  • The cause of the blockage was reported to be “heavy sewage and rags".
  • Wastewater Services last inspected this site (visually) on April 18, 2017 and the sewer was operating as intended at that time.
  • The amount and duration of wastewater discharged to Sturgeon Creek as a result of the blockage is unknown.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Thursday, April 27, 2017.
Feb. 21 Elmwood Park Storm Relief Sewer Outfall located at 380 Henderson Highway Unknown Unknown Overflow weir needed to raised
Incident details and response
  • On Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at approximately 10:00 AM, a crew performing a scheduled inspection of the overflow manhole located at 400 Bredin Drive noticed wastewater “trickling” over the high level weir.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit was called in and all downstream sewers were cleaned and the overflow stopped at 12:30 PM.
  • A CCTV investigation of the local downstream sewers was conducted and it was determined that the overflow weir needs to be permanently raised.
  • A temporary weir was installed the evening of February 21st and a permanent solution will be installed shortly.
  • The amount and duration of the overflow is unknown however it was described as a “trickle” and is believed to be intermittent.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on February 21, 2017.
Feb. 13 Tylehurst Combined Sewer Outfall located at 499 Tylehurst Street 0.60 ML Approx. 2 hours Water main break
Incident details and response
  • On Monday, February 13, 2017 at approximately 5:25 AM, a large water main break was reported to our SCADA operator at the intersection of St. James Street and Sargent Avenue.
  • The Operator then called a standby crew to attend Tylehurst Wastewater Pumping Station anticipating a possible overflow.
  • At 5:50 AM an overflow alarm was received at the Tylehurst Station.
  • The standby crew was on site at 6:15 AM and the positive gate was closed, however due to ice buildup in the chamber the gate would not completely close and as a result, diluted wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River.
  • The overflow stopped at 7:30 AM and the positive gate was opened at 7:45 AM.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Monday, February 13, 2017.
Feb. 5 Woodlands Land Drainage Sewer Outfall located adjacent to 3011 Portage Avenue Unknown Unknown Heavy sewage and some grease
Incident details and response
  • On Sunday, February 5, 2017 at approximately 4:30 PM, a crew was performing preventative maintenance of the gate controlling overflows from the wastewater sewer on Portage Avenue to the land drainage sewer on Woodlands Crescent.
  • Upon arrival they noticed that the 250 mm Portage Avenue wastewater sewer was backed up and overflowing into the Woodlands Crescent land drainage sewer.
  • The blockage was located and a vacuum cleaning unit arrived on site at 5:30 PM, the blockage was liberated and the overflow stopped by 6:30 PM.
  • The cause of the blockage was reported to be “heavy sewage and some grease”. Wastewater Services will monitor this location periodically in the near-term to ensure that the blockage was completely liberated.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Monday, February 6, 2017.
Last updated: November 27, 2017