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2015 Shoal Lake water quality test results

Image of Shoal Lake inletOur staff test Shoal Lake and the intake at the west end of Indian Bay (where the water enters the aqueduct) as part of our routine water quality testing program.

For more information on Winnipeg’s drinking water and our impact on Shoal Lake, visit the web page on Shoal Lake - Our Water Source.

Testing

We take samples at the intake every week during the open water season and every two weeks during the rest of the year. We also take samples from the Shoal Lake watershed from May to October. We test the intake samples for:

  • routine water chemistry
  • taste and odour compounds
  • metals
  • disinfection by-products
  • bacteria and protozoa
  • toxins produced by algae

By taking these samples, we track seasonal changes in water quality and determine the effects (if any) of human activity within the Shoal Lake watershed.

Water entering the aqueduct intake passes through screens before being treated by chlorine on a periodic basis for slime and Zebra mussel control. The aqueduct brings water to Deacon Reservoir before entering the Water Treatment Plant. There, we test both the raw and treated water before the water is distributed to Winnipeg homes and businesses.

Test results are from January 1 to December 31, 2015

What is being measured How it's measured Guideline or regulation Shoal Lake average Shoal Lake range Comments
Odour  units Inoffensive 136 75 to 200 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Perchlorate parts per billion no guideline <0.2 <0.2 to <0.2 -
Plankton (algae) count  cells/mL no guideline 22,315 900 to 113,700 Algae contribute to odours and may cause filter clogging
Chlorophyll-a parts per billion no guideline 8 <1 to 39 Chlorophyll is found in algae
Cryptosporidium oocysts per 100 L no guideline 0.6 <0.6 to 1.0 12 samples taken in 2015 - 1 positive result
Giardia cysts per 100 L no guideline 0.8 <0.6 to 3.3 12 samples taken in 2015 - 2 positive results
Turbidity (clearness) NTU no guideline 1.01 0.32 to 2.40 -
Colour, True TCU no more than 15 * 5.4 2.5 to 11.0 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Total Solids parts per million no guideline 122 88 to 202 -
Total Dissolved Solids parts per million no more than 500 * 104 69 to 150 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Conductivity microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 159 145 to 190 Another measure of dissolved solids
pH  units between 6.5 and 8.5 * 8.16 7.68 to 8.81 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Temperature degrees Celcius no more than 15 * 11.6 1.0 to 22.5 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Total Alkalinity parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 74 66 to 90 -
Total Hardness parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 78 69 to 94 -
Total Organic Carbon parts per million no guideline 10 8 to 13 -
Dissolved Organic Carbon parts per million no guideline 9 7 to 13 -
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) parts per million no guideline 0.5 0.3 to 0.6 TKN is a combination of ammonia and organic nitrogen
Total Phosphorus parts per billion no guideline 16 8 to 23 Phosphorus can contribute to algae growth
Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus parts per billion no guideline 1 <1 to 3 -
Fluoride parts per million no more than 1.5 0.09 <0.08 to 0.13 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Nitrate Nitrogen parts per million no more than 10 0.014 <0.003 to 0.057 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 * 2.5 1.5 to 4.6 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Sulphate parts per million no more than 500 * <2 <2 to 2 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 <1 <1 to <2 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Bromodichloromethane parts per billion no guideline <1 <1 to <1 -
Haloacetic acids parts per billion no more than 80 <3 <3 to 5 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Aldehydes parts per billion no guideline 4 1 to 8 -
Carbofuran parts per billion no more than 90 <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Propoxur parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Aldrin parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Lindane (gamma-BHC) parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
alpha-Chlordane parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
gamma-Chlordane parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
p,p-DDT parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Dieldrin parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Heptachlor parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Heptachlor Epoxide parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Methoxychlor parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
alpha-BHC parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
beta-BHC parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
delta-BHC parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
p,p-DDD parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
p,p-DDE parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
o,p-DDD parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
o,p-DDE parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
o,p-DDT parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Alpha Endosulfan parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Beta Endosulfan parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Endrin parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Mirex parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Simazine parts per billion no more than 10 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Alachlor parts per billion no guideline <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 -
Atrazine parts per billion no more than 5 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Metribuzin parts per billion no more than 80 <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Azinphosmethyl parts per billion no more than 20 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Chlorpyrifos parts per billion no more than 90 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Diazinon parts per billion no more than 20 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Dimethoate parts per billion no more than 20 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Malathion parts per billion no more than 190 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Parathion parts per billion no guideline <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 -
Terbufos parts per billion no more than 1 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Methyl Parathion parts per billion no guideline <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 -
2,4-D parts per billion no more than 100 <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 Raw water - guideline does not apply
2,4-DB parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
2,4-DP parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
2,4,5-T parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
2,4,5-TP parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Bromoxynil parts per billion no more than 5 <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Dicamba parts per billion no more than 120 <0.0060 <0.0060 to <0.010 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Dinoseb parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
MCPA parts per billion no more than 100 <0.025 <0.025 to <0.025 Raw water - guideline does not apply
MCPB parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Mecoprop parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Picloram parts per billion no more than 190 <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Trichlopyr parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Diclofop-methyl parts per billion no more than 9 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Eptam parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Propachlor parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Propanil parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Triallate parts per billion no guideline <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 -
Trifluralin parts per billion no more than 45 <0.030 <0.030 to <0.030 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Arochlor 1016 parts per billion no guideline 0.025 <0.020 to <0.20 -
Arochlor 1221 parts per billion no guideline 0.025 <0.020 to <0.20 -
Arochlor 1232 parts per billion no guideline 0.025 <0.020 to <0.20 -
Arochlor 1242 parts per billion no guideline 0.025 <0.020 to <0.20 -
Arochlor 1248 parts per billion no guideline 0.025 <0.020 to <0.20 -
Arochlor 1254 parts per billion no guideline 0.025 <0.020 to <0.20 -
Arochlor 1260 parts per billion no guideline 0.025 <0.020 to <0.20 -
Calcium parts per million no guideline 19.4 17.7 to 22.9 Contributes to hardness
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 5.60 4.94 to 6.50 Contributes to hardness
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 * 2.09 1.89 to 2.50 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.20 1.06 to 1.41 -
Iron parts per million no more than 0.3 * 0.017 <0.008 to 0.055 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Copper parts per million no more than 1.0 * 0.0009 <0.0003 to 0.0082 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Lead parts per million no more than 0.010 <0.0004 <0.0004 to <0.0004 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Aluminum parts per million no more than 0.1 0.0040 0.0006 to 0.0130 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Antimony parts per million no more than 0.006 <0.0005 <0.0005 to <0.0005 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.010 0.0009 0.0006 to 0.0012 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Nickel parts per million no guideline 0.0005 0.0003 to 0.0009 -
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.0007 <0.0007 to <0.0007 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Chromium VI parts per billion no guideline <10 <10 to <10 -
Boron parts per million no more than 5 0.019 0.009 to 0.034 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Cadmium parts per million no more than 0.005 <0.0004 <0.0004 to <0.0004 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Manganese parts per million no more than 0.05 * 0.0087 0.0023 to 0.0224 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Uranium parts per million no more than 0.02 <0.0005 <0.0005 to <0.0005 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 * 0.0021 <0.0005 to 0.0141 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Zirconium parts per million no guideline <0.0005 <0.0005 to 0.0032 -
Mercury parts per million no more than 0.001 0.000003 <0.000001 to 0.000010 Raw water - guideline does not apply

Note: Where value is expressed as less than (<), the value is halved and used in the calculations, where value is expressed as greater than (>), the value is used in the calculations

* Aesthetic objective: These guidelines have an objective and not a maximum acceptable limit. These parameters should not impact the safety of the water to drink and there is no anticipated health risk for short-term exposures.

Guidelines from ‘Summary of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality’ by Health Canada, October 2014

Last updated: May 8, 2017