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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 water main 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.

2013

Date Location Estimated
discharge
Estimated
duration
Cause Incident details and response
Dec. 19

Woodhaven Boulevard combined sewer relief outfall, 2784 Assiniboine Ave.

0.009 ML. 1 hour, 15 minutes Power interruption
  • At 6:00 pm, a “Power Failure” alarm was received from our Woodhaven lift station.
  • A crew was on site by 6:20 pm and determined that due to a power outage in the area, the sewage pumps could not operate, causing raw sewage to overtop a weir and overflow to the Assiniboine River.
  • The overflow started at 6:55 pm, hydro was restored at 8:05 pm, and the overflow stopped at 8:10 pm.
  • The incident was reported on Thursday, December 19, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
Dec. 10 Woodhaven Boulevard combined sewer relief outfall, 2784 Assiniboine Ave. 0.02 ML 20 minutes Power interruption
  • On Tuesday at 7:33 pm, a “no reply” alarm was received from the Woodhaven lift station.
  • A standby crew, on site by 8:05 pm, determined that the sewage pumps were not operating due to a local hydro interruption, causing raw sewage to overtop a weir and flow to the Assiniboine River starting at about 8:35 p.m.
  • Hydro was restored at 8:50 pm and the overflow stopped at 8:55 pm.
  • The incident was reported on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
November 19 Churchill Drive storm relief sewer outfall, just east of Hay St. Unknown Unknown Blocked sewer
  • At 3:45 pm on November 19 during a routine inspection of the weir manhole at Bartlet Ave. and Hay St, a crew discovered raw sewage trickling over the weir on the combined sewer and flowing into a storm relief sewer. This SRS discharges to the Red River through the outfall on Churchill Dr.
  • A crew closed the sluice gate at the Churchill Dr. outfall gate chamber by 5:00 pm, stopping further sewage discharge to the Red River.
  • The cause of the overflow was a partial blockage in the combined sewer on Bartlet Ave., which was cleared by crews.
  • The gate will remain closed until the sewage that accumulated in the storm relief sewer has been removed.
  • The incident was reported on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
November 14 Donald Street storm relief sewer outfall, 321 Assiniboine Avenue Unknown Unknown Blocked sewer
  • At about 2:18 pm, a discharge to the Assiniboine River was reported to the City of Winnipeg.
  • A crew, on site by 4:15 pm, closed a sluice gate by 5:05 pm to prevent further discharge.
  • The crew found a partially blocked combined sewer at St. Mary Avenue and Vaughan Street, causing raw sewage to overtop a weir and overflow into the storm relief sewer that discharges to the Donald Street outfall.
  • The blockage was cleared by about 9:45 pm.
  • A crew is dewatering the sewage that accumulated and stored in the outfall pipe. The sluice gate will then be reopened and normal operation of the storm relief sewer system will resume.
  • The incident was reported on Thursday, November 14, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
October 8 Chataway sewer relief outfall, 1810 Wellington Crescent Unknown about 20 minutes blocked sewer pipe
  • Around 8:20 pm, a crew was notified by one alarm, followed by another alarm 15 minutes later, from the Chataway lift station.
  • The discharge had already stopped when the crew arrived at 9:00 pm.
  • The crew investigated and found that a blocked sewer pipe upstream of the lift station sent additional flow to the Chataway lift station, causing an overflow to the Assiniboine River.
  • The blockage was cleared, and the station returned to normal operation.
September 6 McDermot Avenue storm relief sewer outfall Unknown Unknown Under investigation
  • During a maintenance check at about 1:00 pm on September 6, staff noticed diluted sewage spilling over the weir from the combined sewer to the storm relief sewer that discharges to the Red River.
  • Crews flushed the combined sewer along Cumberland Avenue assuming that a blockage was the cause of the overflow.
  • Diluted sewage continued to overflow, so staff temporarily raised the overflow weir which stopped the flow from the combined sewer into the storm relief sewer by 6:30 pm. The gate at the McDermot Avenue gate chamber was not closed due to the threat of a forecasted thunderstorm that evening.
  • Currently, the weir is still raised and staff continue to search for excess sources of inflow.
  • The incident was reported on Friday September 6, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
September 5 Fort Rouge storm relief out fall, 339 River Avenue Unknown Unknown Blocked sewer
  • During maintenance checks on September 5, 2013 at approximately 1:30 PM, operations staff noticed a small amount of untreated sewage spilling over the weir located at Stradbrook Avenue and Osborne Street.
  • Once noticed, a crew worked quickly to close the positive gate on the 2400mm storm relief sewer at the Fort Rouge Park gate chamber. The gate was fully closed at approximately 2:20 PM and flow to the river was contained.
  • The crew determined that the overflow into the storm relief sewer was caused by a blockage in the 450mm combined sewer on Osborne Street.
  • The blockage was cleared at about 4:30 PM. Due to the threat of a thunderstorm on September 6, 2013, crews reopened the positive gate at about 9:30 PM. At this time, we estimate that we were able to remove over 80% of the sewage from the chamber however, the remaining was discharged.
  • The incident was reported on Thursday September 5, 2013 to the Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting Line and to Environment Canada.
August 24

Clifton combined sewer relief outfall, 1256 Wolseley Avenue

0.14 ML 50 minutes Water main break
  • On Aug. 24 at about 8:22 am, an alarm was received from the Clifton flood pumping station.
  • A standby crew, onsite by 8:55 am, determined that the flow to the lift station was exceeding the pumping capacity, causing an overflow to the Assiniboine River.
  • The crew closed the 2550 mm combined sewer relief outfall gate by about 9:25 am to prevent further discharge to the river.
  • The crew's investigation determined that a 350 mm water main break had occurred at Ashburn Street and St. Matthews Avenue, causing a large volume of potable water to drain into the combined system which leads to the Clifton Street lift station.
  • The water main leak was stopped by about 10:00 am.
  • By about 11:45 am, the lift station was back to normal operation and the outfall gate was reopened.
  • The incident was reported on August 24, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
August 20 Roland storm relief outfall, 16 Watt Street Unknown Unknown Blocked sewer
  • At about 10:30 am on Aug. 20, during a maintenance check, a crew observed flow in a 2900 mm storm relief sewer at 810 Harbison.
  • The crew tracked the flow to Nottingham Avenue and Besant Street where they observed flow from a 525 mm combined sewer overtopping a weir and spilling into the storm relief sewer causing an overflow to the Red River.
  • The crew returned to the Roland storm relief outfall and closed the sluice gate to prevent further discharge.
  • The crew determined the cause of the overflow was a partial blockage in the 525 mm combined sewer downstream of the weir.
  • The blockage was cleared at about 10:30 pm. The storm relief sewer is in the process of being dewatered and then the sluice gate will be reopened.
  • The incident was reported on August 20, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
August 8 Burrows Avenue storm relief outfall at the Red River Unknown Unknown Blocked sewer
  • During a maintenance check at about 2:00 pm on Aug. 8, staff observed flow from a 375 mm combined sewer at Main Street and Aberdeen Avenue overtopping a weir and spilling into the storm relief sewer causing an overflow to the Red River.
  • The crew determined the overflow was caused by a partial blockage in the 375 mm combined sewer downstream of the weir.
  • The blockage was cleared at about 3:00 pm, stopping the overflow to the Red River.
  • The incident was reported on August 9, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
June 27 Combined sewer outfall at Strathmillan Road and Portage Avenue 0.01 ML about 30 minutes Fire hydrant flushing
  • On June 27 at about 10:55 am, during a maintenance check, a crew noticed flow overtopping the diversion weir of the 900 mm combined sewer and discharging out the combined sewer relief outfall pipe into the Assiniboine River.
  • The sewer outfall gate was closed by about 11:10 am to prevent further discharge.
  • The crew tracked the cause of the extra flow to fire hydrant flushing in the area.
  • A notification protocol is being developed to help prevent these types of overflows in the future.
  • At about 6:00 pm, the outfall gate was reopened.
  • The incident was reported to both the Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada on June 27, 2013.
June 20 - 21 Combined sewer outfall at Strathmillan Road and Portage Avenue 200,000 L (as calculate by 17 Wing) about 12 hours Power outage at the 17 Wing wastewater treatment plant operated by the Government of Canada, Department of National Defence
  • We received notice on June 21 at about 12 pm, from 17 Wing, Government of Canada, Department of National Defence, of an interruption to their wastewater treatment plant operation that had already taken place, causing a discharge of untreated sewage to the Assiniboine River.
  • Under normal operation, treated wastewater from 17 Wing discharges to the Assiniboine River via the City’s combined sewer outfall at Portage Avenue and Strathmillan Road. When we are notified in advance that untreated wastewater from 17 Wing must be discharged, we can redirect non-treated wastewater through our sewage collection system to our west end plant for treatment.
  • The incident was reported to both the Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada by the Department of National Defence 17 Wing Winnipeg on Friday June 21, 2013.
May 29 to Jun 17 Olive lift station, 2461 Assiniboine Crescent 22 ML From May 29 to June 17 Hydraulic gate failure
  • At approximately 2:15 pm on June 17, the City was notified of an overflow at the Olive lift station.
  • A crew, on-site by about 2:35 pm, determined that a hydraulic gate failure caused a gate to close resulting in discharge to the Assiniboine River via a 750 mm outfall.
  • The crew manually locked the gate into the open position to prevent further discharge to the river.
  • By about 2:40 pm, the gate was fully opened and discharge to the river had stopped.
  • This station receives flow from two combined sewer pipes (600 mm and 450 mm). The hydraulic gate failure caused flow from the 600 mm pipe to overflow to the Assiniboine River. The discharge from this pipe did not trigger any alarms to signal an overflow. Existing alarms indicated that the station was operating normally. Additional alarming has since been installed on the 600 mm pipe to prevent further unalarmed discharges from occurring.
  • The incident was reported on June 17 to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
May 3 Galt flood pump station, 401 Waterfront Drive. 19.6 ML From about 7 am on May 3 to about 1:40 pm on May 4 Blocked diversion chamber and a leaking positive gate
  • Once the City’s sewer system had been cleared of excess wet weather flow from the heavy rain storms on April 30, it was noticed that diluted sewage was still flowing to the Galt flood pumping station, causing the flood pumps to activate.
  • Shortly after 7 a.m. on Friday May 3, 2013, a crew was dispatched to the area
  • By about 1:00 pm on Saturday May 4, the crew determined that the diversion chamber at Alexander Avenue was partially plugged which caused diluted sewage to be diverted to the Galt flood pump station.
  • The crew immediately cleared the blockage from the diversion chamber and the sewer was restored to normal operation.
  • By approximately 1:40 pm on Saturday May 4, the pumps at the Galt station were no longer activated.
  • In addition to the partially plugged diversion chamber at Alexander Avenue, it was determined that the positive gate at the McDermot gate chamber was leaking.
  • High water levels on the Red River caused river water to enter the sewer system though the leaking gate resulting in excess diluted sewer flow to the Gait station via the Alexander diversion chamber.
  • The gate was subsequently sealed.
  • The incident was reported on May 6, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada
April 21 25 De La Digue Ave Unknown About 66 minutes Power outage
  • On Sunday, April 21 at 11:59 am, a “power fail” alarm was received from our St. Norbert lift station.
  • A crew was dispatched at about 12:00 pm; arrived on site at approximately 1:00 pm and closed the wastewater sewer relief outfall gate by approximately 1:05 pm.
  • Due to a hydro power outage in the area, the sewage pumps could not operate, which caused an overflow to the Red River.
  • Once power was restored to the area, the lift station was back to normal operation by about 1:40 pm.
  • The incident was reported on April 22, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
March 26 Ferry Road combined sewer relief outfall pipe 0.027 ML 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Water main break
  • On March 26 at 6:00 am, a crew was notified of an alarm that was recieved from our Ferry Road lift station.
  • Onsite by 6:30 pm, it was determined that the flow to the lift station was exceeding the pumping capacity. The 1800 mm combined sewer relief outfall pipe gate was closed by approximately 6:45 am to prevent any flow from entering the river as sewage began to be stored in the sewer pipe system.
  • The crew monitored elevations at the Ferry Road lift station and noticed that the sewage elevations continued to increase in the sewer pipe system. At approximately 12:00 pm, sewage levels in the sewer pipe system reached our critical elevation. At this time, and only to prevent sewage back-up into basements, the crew opened the combined sewer relief pipe outfall gate 50 mm to allow the sewer levels to drop below our critical elevation. The gate was reclosed by approximately 1:00 pm.
  • It was determined that a 300 mm water main break had occured at Ellice Avenue & Berry Street causing a large volume of potable water to drain into the combined system which leads to the Ferry Road lift station. The watermain was isolated at approximately 12:05 pm.
  • By approximately 2:15 pm the lift station was back to normal operation and the outfall gate was reopened.
  • The incident was reported on March 26, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
March 21 Bannatyne Avenue and Waterfront Drive combined sewer relief outfall pipe Unknown Unknown Service break on a private water sprinkler system
  • On March 21 at 6:14 am, the Emergency Services Branch was notified of a possible water main break in the Bannatyne Avenue and Ellen Street area.
  • It was determined a 150 mm service break on a private water sprinkler system at #365 Bannatyne Avenue caused a large volume of potable water to drain into the 1350 mm combined sewer.
  • At approximately 8:15 am an Operations arrived at the Bannatyne Avenue and Waterfront Drive 1100 mm x 1300 mm combined sewer relief outfall pipe and noticed a small discharge had occured but was no longer active.
  • It is suspected that the resultant flow from the service break travelled down the 1350 mm combined sewer, to the 1100 mm x 1300 mm combined sewer, exceeded the height of the diversion weir at #20 Ship Street, causing an overflow to occur.
  • The incident was reported on March 21, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
March 4 Portage Aven. at Woodlands Cres. land drainage relief outfall Unknown 3:45 pm to 7:00 pm Partially blocked sewer
  • On March 4 at 3:45 pm, a crew was notified of a possible sewer pipe break under the Sturgeon Creek Bridge at Portage Avenue.
  • Onsite by about 5:00 pm, the crew determined that a sewer pipe was not broken, but flow was coming out of the 1200 mm land drainage relief outfall pipe into the Assiniboine River via Sturgeon Creek.
  • Further investigation revealed that a partial blockage of the 250 mm wastewater sewer 44 meters east of Greenway Crescent at Portage Avenue had caused an overflow into the 1200 mm land drainage outfall pipe via a 450 mm storm relief pipe.
  • The blockage was cleared by about 7:00 pm.
  • The incident was reported on March 5, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
February 28 Waterfront Drive land drainage sewer outfall, north of Pioneer Avenue on Waterfront Drive Unknown 20 minutes Unknown
  • On Feb. 28 at about 2:00 pm, a crew observed flow discharging from the Waterfront Drive 1400 mm land drainage outfall pipe.
  • The crew closed the land drainage outfall gate by about 2:20 pm to prevent further discharge to the Red River.
  • The incident was reported on Feb. 28, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
February 28 Roland combined sewer relief outfall, 16 Watt Street. Unknown 11:50 am to 2:20 pm Unknown
  • At about 11:50 am on Feb. 28, a crew observed flow discharging from the Roland 3700 mm combined sewer relief outfall pipe.
  • The crew closed the combined sewer outfall gate at about 2:20 pm to prevent further discharge to the Red River.
  • The incident was reported on February 28 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
January 30 Canora St. storm relief sewer outfall Unknown 9:00 am – 10:30 am Unknown
  • On Wednesday, January 30, a crew checking the Canora Street 1950 mm diameter storm relief outfall noticed a small amount of flow was discharging from the outfall.
  • By 9:30 am, the flow had slowed to a trickle and by 10:30 am, it had stopped.
  • Crews have been checking the sewer district to determine the source of the intermittent flow, but efforts are being hampered by freezing temperatures and manholes buried in snow and ice.
  • As a further precaution, after melting and jetting ice from the chamber, the positive gate for the sewer was closed at 2:30 am January 31.
  • The incident was reported on January 30, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
January 29 Canora St. storm relief sewer outfall Unknown Unknown Unknown
  • On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, at 9:00 am, a crew spotted a wet area on the Assiniboine River ice around the storm relief sewer outfall at Canora Street.
  • The discharge had stopped at this time.
  • The incident was reported on January 29, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
January 25 McDermot Avenue storm relief outfall Unknown 5:30 pm to 7:15 pm Unknown
  • On Friday, Jan. 25, a crew was dewatering the 2700 mm storm relief sewer on McDermot Avenue at Ship Street.
  • At about 5:00 pm, the sewer appeared to be dewatered and the pump was shut off.
  • At about 5:30 pm, the pump was restarted. Shortly after the crew observed a small amount of sewage discharging to the river.
  • Pumping continued and the discharge to the river stopped at approximately 7:15 pm.
  • The incident was reported on Friday, January 25, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
January 9 Outfall north of Churchill Dr. and about 200 m east of Hay St. Unknown 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm Partially blocked combined sewer
  • On January 9, at about 2:30 pm, a small area of open water in the Red River was reported.
  • A crew verified at 4:45 pm that sewage was discharging through a 1600 mm storm relief outfall located north of Churchill Drive, approximately 200 meters east of Hay Street.
  • The positive gate on the storm relief sewer was closed at 6:00 pm, preventing further discharge to the Red River.
  • The discharge was caused by a partially blocked combined sewer which overflowed to the storm relief sewer. The blockage has been cleared.
  • The incident was reported on January 9, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
January 7 Galt flood pump station, 401 Waterfront Dr. Unknown 10:00 am to 10:15 am Water main break
  • At approximately 8:30 a.m. on January 7, 2013, a crew was notified about a break on a 200 mm water main near Alexander Avenue and Lulu Street.
  • The break caused drinking water to enter the 300 mm combined sewer which leads to the Galt flood pump station outfall.
  • The crew, on-site by about 8:45 am, began warming the gate mechanisms and were able to fully close the gate by about 10:15 a.m., ending the overflow to the Red River.
  • The collection system returned to normal operation and the gate was re-opened at approximately 2:30 p.m.
  • The incident was reported on January 7, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
January 4 McDermot Avenue storm relief sewer outfall Unknown 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm Blockage in the combined sewers
  • On the afternoon of January 4, 2013, a crew was in the process of dewatering the 2700 mm McDermot Avenue storm relief sewer to investigate the source of an inflow when they noticed a sudden increase of the flow.
  • At about 3:30 pm, the dewatering equipment malfunctioned and was taken for servicing.
  • While arrangements were being made to bring a stand-by generator and temporary pump to the site, an overflow occurred. Flow overtopped the temporary weir that was in place.
  • The temporary pump and stand-by generator arrived on site by 5:45 pm and was fully operational by approximately 8:20 pm, ending the overflow to the Red River.
  • The incident was reported on January 4, 2013, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
Last updated: January 11, 2018