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City of Winnipeg
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Image of water running out of a tap2007 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 units Inoffensive 56 15 to 80 Does not always meet the guideline
Geosmin parts per trillion no guideline 10 <2 to 87 Common taste and odour compound
IPMP - 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 to <2 Common taste and odour compound
IBMP - 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 to <2 Common taste and odour compound
MIB - 2-methylisoborneol parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 to <2 Common taste and odour compound
246 TCA - 2,4,6-trichloroanisole parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 to <2 Common taste and odour compound
236 TCA - 2,3,6-trichloroanisole parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 to <2 Common taste and odour compound
345 TCV - 3,4,5-trichloroveratrole parts per trillion no guideline <2 <2 to <2 Common taste and odour compound
MTBE - methyl tertiary-butyl ether parts per million no more than 0.015 <0.0005 <0.0005 to <0.0005 Meets the guideline
NDMA - N-nitrosodimethylamine parts per billion under review <0.05 <0.05 to <0.05 Guideline under review by Health Canada
Chlorophyll-a parts per billion no guideline <1 <1 to 1 Chlorophyll is found in algae 
Microcystin LR parts per billion no more than 1.5 <0.1 <0.1 to 0.1 Meets the guideline
Turbidity (clearness) Nephelometric turbidity units no more than 1 0.70 0.28 to 4.0 Does not always meet the guideline
Colour, True units no more than 15 <5 <5 to <5 Meets the guideline
Total Dissolved Solids milligrams per litre no more than 500 111 98 to 123 Meets the guideline
Conductivity microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 165 156 to 181 Another measure of dissolved solids
pH units between 6.5 and 8.5 7.44 7.22 to 7.71 Meets the guideline
Temperature degrees Celsius no more than 15 11.0 3.0 to 26.5 Does not always meet the guideline
Total Alkalinity parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 63 53 to 78  -
Total Hardness parts per million as calcium carbonate between 80 and 100 81 74 to 94 Meets the guideline
Total Organic Carbon parts per million no guideline 9 7 to 12  -
Total Inorganic Carbon parts per million no guideline 14 12 to 17  -
Fluoride parts per million no more than 1.5 0.85 0.48 to 0.96 Meets the guideline
Nitrate Nitrogen parts per million no more than 10 0.02 <0.01 to 0.04 Meets the guideline
Phosphorus as Phosphate parts per million no guideline 1.87 1.07 to 1.96 Added for lead control program
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 7.9 6.2 to 10.9 Meets the guideline
Sulphate parts per million no more than 500 2.7 2.4 to 3.0 Meets the guideline
Chlorine (free) parts per million no guideline 0.55 <0.05 to 1.58  -
Chlorine (total) parts per million no more than 3 0.99 0.31 to 2.10 Meets the guideline
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 97.6 42 to 142 Meets the guideline
Bromodichloromethane parts per billion no guideline 11.9 5.0 to 17.9  -
Haloacetic acids parts per billion under review 75 36 to 130 Guideline under review by Health Canada
Calcium parts per million no guideline 23.6 21.7 to 25.1 Contributes to hardness
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 6.46 5.67 to 7.17 No guideline
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 2.2 1.9 to 2.4 Meets the guideline
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.34 1.17 to 1.50  -
Iron parts per million no more than 0.3 0.05 0.03 to 0.07 Meets the guideline
Copper parts per million no more than 1.0 0.100 0.038 to 0.218 Meets the guideline
Lead parts per million no more than 0.010 <0.001 <0.001 to 0.001 Meets the guideline
Aluminum parts per million no more than 0.1 0.005 0.002 to 0.010 Meets the guideline
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.010 0.001 <0.001 to 0.001 Meets the guideline
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001 Meets the guideline
Nickel parts per million under review <0.001 <0.001 to 0.001 Guideline under review by Health Canada
Cadmium parts per million no more than 0.005 <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001 Meets the guideline
Manganese parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.01 <0.01 to 0.04 Meets the guideline
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 0.002 <0.001 to 0.009 Meets the guideline
Mercury parts per million no more than 0.001 <0.0000008 <0.0000005 to 0.0000021 Meets the guideline
Antimony parts per million no more than 0.006 0.0004 0.0004 to 0.0004 Meets the guideline
Barium parts per million no more than 1 0.016 0.013 to 0.017 Meets the guideline
Beryllium parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002  -
Bismuth parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002  -
Boron parts per million no more than 5 0.01 <0.01 to 0.02 Meets the guideline
Cesium parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001  -
Cobalt parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002  -
Lithium parts per million no guideline 0.0022 0.0020 to 0.0024  -
Molybdenum parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001  -
Selenium parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002 Meets the guideline
Silicon parts per million no guideline 0.53 0.18 to 0.85  -
Silver parts per million no guideline <0.00005 <0.00005 to <0.00005  -
Strontium parts per million no guideline 0.026 0.015 to 0.040  -
Tellurium parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002  -
Thallium parts per million no guideline <0.00002 <0.00002 to <0.00002  -
Thorium parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001  -
Tin parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002  -
Titanium parts per million no guideline 0.0005 0.0003 to 0.0007  -
Uranium parts per million no more than 0.02 <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001 Meets the guideline
Vanadium parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002  -
Zirconium parts per million no more than 0.1 <0.002 <0.002 to <0.002 Meets the guideline

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

Bacterial Testing

What is being measured Guideline Our test results Comments
Number of total coliform bacteria tests in year 1820 samples 3061 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 10% of samples with positive total coliform or no consecutive positives from the same site. 0.7 % (21 positive tests) All resamples were negative and met the guideline/provincial regulation
Number of Escherichia coli bacteria tests in year 1820 samples 3060 samples More testing than required by the guideline/provincial regulation
Number of times that Escherichia coli bacteria show up in a test no bacteria present in the sample 3 positive test results (0.1%) All resamples were negative and met the guideline/provincial regulation
Number of heterotrophic (bacteria) plate count (HPC) tests done no guideline 3041 samples Heterotrophic plate count is not required under the new provincial regulations.

Guidelines from 'Summary of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality' by Health Canada, March 2008.
Trihalomethane guidelines from 'Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality' by Health Canada, March 2008.

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This page was last updated on June 23, 2016