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City of Winnipeg
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Image of water running out of a tap2004 Winnipeg water quality test results

Winnipeg is the last location where we add chlorine to the water - at the outlet from each of the three pumping stations. The other locations are at the Shoal Lake intake and at the Deacon Reservoir outlet. We maintain an average free chlorine residual of between 0.3 and 0.4 milligrams per litre in the distribution system.

Testing
Winnipeg water is intensively monitored on a routine basis to ensure that the water is safe and that regulatory requirements are met. Because water quality is so important, our level of monitoring and sampling exceeds Provincial regulatory requirements.

  • We monitor chlorine at the places where it is added, and at 19 sites throughout the distribution system. Equipment is used to continuously monitor chlorine levels at the pumping stations and the distribution system levels are checked weekly from about the beginning of May to about the end of October, and every two weeks at other times.
  • Microbiological samples are taken weekly at over 60 locations throughout the system. Tests are conducted for general bacteria and for coliform bacteria according to Provincial regulations.

We also test Winnipeg water for:

  • routine water chemistry
  • metals (analyzed both by us and the Province)
  • disinfection by-products

We measure how water quality changes within the distribution system and the quality of water delivered to customers with these tests. We also respond to customer inquiries and complaints about water quality. Contact us for more information.

What is being
measured
How it's
measured
Guideline
or regulation
Winnipeg
average
Winnipeg
range
Comments
Odour odour number inoffensive 70 20 to 150 Offensive to some customers at times
Geosmin parts per trillion no guideline 10 <1 to 50 Common taste and odour compound
IPMP - 2- isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 Common taste and odour compound
IBMP - 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 Common taste and odour compound
MIB - 2-methylisoborneol parts per trillion no guideline <10 <2 to <10 Common taste and odour compound
246 TCA - 2,4,6-trichloroanisole parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 Common taste and odour compound
236 TCA - 2,3,6-trichloroanisole parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 Common taste and odour compound
345 TCV - 3,4,5-trichloroveratrole parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 Common taste and odour compound
Chlorophyll-a parts per billion no guideline <1.0 <1.0 to 1.0 Chlorophyll is found in algae
Microcystin LR parts per billion no more than 1.5 <0.2 <0.2 Meets the guideline
Turbidity (clearness) units no more than 1.0 0.53 0.30 to 3.70 Does not always meet the guideline
Colour, True units no more than 15 <5 <5 Meets the guideline
Total Dissolved Solids parts per million no more than 500 95 79 to 112 Meets the guideline
Conductivity microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 158 154 to 165 Another measure of dissolved solids
pH units between 6.5 and 8.5 6.94 6.67 to 7.28 Meets the guideline
Temperature degrees Celsius no more than 15 10.5 5.0 to 17.1 Does not always meet the guideline
Total Alkalinity parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 64 57 to 78  -
Total Hardness parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 72 69 to 78 80 to 100 parts per million is recommended
Total Organic Carbon parts per million no guideline 8 7.0 to 8.7  -
Total Inorganic Carbon parts per million no guideline 15 13 to 18  -
Fluoride parts per million no more than 1.5 0.8 0.76 to 0.84 Meets the guideline
Nitrate parts per million no more than 10 <0.01 <0.01 Meets the guideline
Phosphorus as orthophosphate parts per million no guideline 1.91 1.81 to 2.18 Added for lead control program
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 7.6 6.5 to 8.9 Meets the guideline
Sulphate parts per million no more than 500 3 2.5 to 3.3 Meets the guideline
Chlorine (combined) parts per million no more than 3 0.42 0.13 to 0.58 Meets the guideline
Chlorine (free) parts per million no guideline 0.45 0.08 to 0.77  -
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 83 a 45 to 146 Does not always meet the guideline
Haloacetic acids parts per billion no guideline 93 a 44 to 140 Guideline under review by Health Canada
Calcium parts per million no guideline 21 19.6 to 23.8 Contributes to hardness
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 5.66 5.00 to 6.20 Contributes to hardness
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 1.92 1.70 to 2.20 Meets the guideline
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.14 1.01 to 1.30  -
Iron parts per million no more than 0.30 0.05 0.03 to 0.07 Meets the guideline
Copper parts per million no more than 1.0 0.103 0.060 to 0.193 Meets the guideline
Lead * parts per million no more than 0.010 <0.001 <0.001 Meets the guideline
Aluminum parts per million no guideline 0.004 0.002 to 0.006  -
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.025 0.0009 0.0008 to 0.0009 Meets the guideline
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.0002 <0.0002 to 0.0003 Meets the guideline
Nickel parts per million no guideline 0.0002 <0.0002 to 0.0004  -
Cadmium parts per million no more than 0.005 <0.00004 <0.00004 Meets the guideline
Manganese parts per million no more than 0.05 0.008 0.004 to 0.020 Meets the guideline
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 0.002 <0.001 to 0.006 Meets the guideline
Antimony parts per million no more than 0.006 0.0004 0.0003 to 0.0005 Meets the guideline
Barium parts per million no more than 1.0 0.014 0.013 to 0.016 Meets the guideline
Beryllium parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002  -
Bismuth parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002  -
Boron parts per million no more than 5 0.01 <0.01 to 0.01 Meets the guideline
Cesium parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001  -
Cobalt parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002  -
Lithium parts per million no guideline 0.0023 0.0020 to 0.0027  -
Molybdenum parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001  -
Rubidium parts per million no guideline 0.0014 0.0013 to 0.0016  -
Selenium parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.0002 <0.0002 Meets the guideline
Silicon parts per million no guideline 0.51 0.37 to 0.69  -
Silver parts per million no guideline <0.00005 <0.00002 to <0.00005  -
Strontium parts per million no guideline 0.035 0.033 to 0.038  -
Tellurium parts per million no guideline 0.0007 <0.0002 to 0.0025  -
Thallium parts per million no guideline <0.00002 <0.00002  -
Thorium parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001  -
Tin parts per million no guideline 0.0003 <0.0002 to 0.0008  -
Titanium parts per million no more than 0.02 0.0007 0.0006 to 0.0009 Meets the guideline
Uranium parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001  -
Vanadium parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002  -
Zirconium parts per million no more than 0.1 <0.002 <0.002 Meets the guideline

a The trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids data for 2004 are not representative of the full year due to 3 missed surveys and operational changes caused by construction at Deacon Reservior. This resulted in below normal average values for trihalomethanes and haloaceticacids.

* For more information on lead in drinking water, read our lead control program question and answer section.

Bacterial Testing

What is being measured Guideline Our test results Comments
Number of total coliform bacteria tests done in year 1820 samples 3180 samples More testing than required by the guideline/provincial regulation.
Number of times that total coliform bacteria show up in a test no more than 320 positive total coliform tests per year 30 positive test results All locations with positive results were resampled for total coliform and fecal coliform testing. All resamples were negative and met the guideline/provincial regulation.
Number of times that more than 10 total coliform bacteria show up in a test no more than 10 bacteria per sample 3 samples with greater than 10 bacteria The locations were resampled as per the guideline. All resamples were negative and met the guideline/ provincial regulation.
Number of heterotrophic (bacteria) plate count (HPC) tests done no guideline 3179 samples  -
Number of times that HPC counts are more than 500 colonies no more than 500 bacteria per sample 23 samples with bacteria count greater than 500 Resamples for HPC were no more than 500 and met the guideline/ provincial regulation.

Guidelines from 'Summary of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality' by Health Canada, March 2001

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This page was last updated on June 23, 2016