Site Accessibility Information Access Key 1 to Skip to Top Navigation Access Key 2 to Skip to the Three One One link Access Key 3 to Skip to City of Winnipeg Main Menu Access Key 4 to Skip to Left Navigation Menu Access Key 5 to Skip to Content area Access Key 6 to Skip to Right Sidebar content area Access Key 7 to Skip to Footer Links
City of Winnipeg
|  Link to the City of Winnipeg French websiteFrançais  |

Image of water running out of a tap2010 Winnipeg distribution system water quality test results

The Winnipeg distribution system 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 on a periodic basis and at the Water Treatment Plant.

Our Operating Licence requires that we maintain a minimum free chlorine residual of 0.1 milligrams per litre throughout the distribution system.

Testing
Winnipeg water is intensively monitored on a routine basis at Shoal Lake, before it enters the Water Treatment Plant and after the water has passed through the treatment processes 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 39 sites throughout the distribution system. Equipment is used to continuously monitor chlorine levels at the pumping stations and the distribution system levels are checked on a weekly basis.
  • Microbiological samples are taken weekly at over 60 locations throughout the system. Tests are conducted for Escherichia coli and total coliform bacteria according to Provincial regulations. We also test for Heterotrophic plate count which is not required under the new Provincial regulations but can be useful to identify potential problem areas within the distribution system.

We also test Winnipeg distribution system 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 59 30 to 100 Meets the guideline
Geosmin** parts per trillion no guideline <0.7 <0.5 to 0.8 Common taste and odour compound
IPMP - 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine** parts per trillion no guideline <0.5 <0.5 to <0.5 Common taste and odour compound
IBMP - 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine** parts per trillion no guideline <0.5 <0.5 to <0.5 Common taste and odour compound
MIB - 2-methylisoborneol** parts per trillion no guideline <0.9 <0.5 to <4.0 Common taste and odour compound
246 TCA - 2,4,6-trichloroanisole** parts per trillion no guideline <0.5 <0.5 to <2.0 Common taste and odour compound
236 TCA - 2,3,6-trichloroanisole** parts per trillion no guideline <0.5 <0.5 to <1.0 Common taste and odour compound
345 TCV - 3,4,5-trichloroveratrole** parts per trillion no guideline <0.5 <0.5 to <0.5 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 0.0257 0.0012 to 0.0778 Guideline under review by Health Canada
Chlorophyll-a* parts per billion no guideline <1 <1 to 2 Chlorophyll is found in algae
Microcystin LR** parts per billion no more than 1.5 <0.2 <0.2 to <0.2 Meets the guideline
Turbidity (clearness) Nephelometric turbidity units no guideline 0.25 0.09 to 3.59  -
Colour, Apparent Apparent colour units no guideline 2.5 2.5 to 5.0  -
Total Dissolved Solids* milligrams per litre no more than 500 174 146 to 196 Meets the guideline
Conductivity* microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 298 288 to 308 Another measure of dissolved solids
pH units between 6.5 and 8.5 7.57 7.24 to 8.04 Meets the guideline
Temperature degrees Celcius no more than 15 10.3 1.0 to 23.0 Does not always meet the guideline
Total Alkalinity parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 66 57 to 76  -
Total Hardness parts per million as calcium carbonate between 80 and 100 78 70 to 86 Does not always meet the guideline
Total Organic Carbon* parts per million no guideline 4.2 3.4 to 5.1  -
Total Inorganic Carbon* parts per million no guideline 12.8 9.2 to 16.1  -
Fluoride1 parts per million no more than 1.5 0.85 0.81 to 0.90 Meets the guideline
Ammonia Dissolved* parts per million no guideline 0.024 0.021 to <0.050  -
Nitrate Nitrogen* parts per million no more than 10 <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 Meets the guideline
Soluble Phosphate parts per million as phosphorus no guideline 1.95 1.86 to 2.10 Added for Lead Control Program
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 21 16 to 28 Meets the guideline
Sulfate parts per million no more than 500 45 29 to 56 Meets the guideline
Chlorine (free) parts per million no guideline 0.50 0.02 to 1.15  -
Chlorine (total) parts per million no guideline 0.70 0.14 to 1.34  -
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 59 12 to 97 Meets the guideline
Haloacetic acids parts per billion no more than 80 30 <10 to 59 Meets the guideline
Aldehydes parts per billion no guideline 20 10 to 54  -
Calcium parts per million no guideline 21.2 19.7 to 22.8 Contributes to hardness
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 5.6 5.2 to 5.9 Contributes to hardness
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 29.1 23.2 to 33.8 Meets the guideline
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.2 1.1 to 1.3  -
Iron parts per million no more than 0.3 0.06 0.01 to 0.15 Meets the guideline
Copper parts per million no more than 1.0 0.062 0.022 to 0.134 Meets the guideline
Lead2 parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001 Meets the guideline
Aluminum parts per million no more than 0.1 0.003 <0.001 to 0.018 Meets the guideline
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001 Meets the guideline
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 0.002 <0.001 to 0.005 Meets the guideline
Nickel parts per million no guideline 0.002 0.001 to 0.003  -
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 0.022 0.016 to 0.038 Meets the guideline
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 <0.003 <0.001 to 0.005 Meets the guideline
Mercury parts per million no more than 0.001 <0.000001 <0.000001 to <0.000001 Meets the guideline
Antimony* parts per million no more than 0.006 <0.00020*** <0.00020 to 0.00036*** Meets the guideline
Barium* parts per million no more than 1 0.0153 0.0140 to 0.0172 Meets the guideline
Beryllium* parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020  -
Bismuth* parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020  -
Boron parts per million no more than 5 0.010 0.009 to 0.011 Meets the guideline
Cesium* parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010  -
Cobalt* parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020  -
Lithium* parts per million no guideline 0.0021 <0.0020 to 0.0031  -
Molybdenum* parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020  -
Rubidium* parts per million no guideline 0.00179 0.00161 to 0.00194  -
Selenium* parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.0010 <0.0010 to <0.0010 Meets the guideline
Silicon* parts per million no guideline 0.813 0.399 to 1.14  -
Silver* parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010  -
Strontium* parts per million no guideline 0.0399 0.0366 to 0.0436  -
Tellurium* parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020  -
Thallium* parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010  -
Thorium* parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010  -
Tin* parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00060  -
Titanium* parts per million no guideline 0.00026 <0.00020 to <0.00090  -
Tungsten* parts per million no guideline <0.0010 <0.00020 to <0.0010  -
Uranium parts per million no more than 0.02 <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010 Meets the guideline
Vanadium* parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020  -
Zirconium parts per million no guideline <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001  -
1 Fluoride was added in accordance with the Provincial Fluoridation Program guideline to reach an optimal concentration of 0.85 parts per million.
2 Does not include the results from our monthly lead monitoring program.
* Data reported was collected from Maclean, Hurst, and McPhillips Pumping Station discharge.
** Data reported was collected from McPhillips Pumping Station discharge.
*** Provincial monitoring results were reported instead of our own results because our detection limit is higher than the guideline.

Bacterial testing

What is being measured Guideline Our test results Comments
Number of total coliform bacteria tests in year 1820 samples 2,962 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. 0.4% (12 positive tests) All resamples were negative and met the guideline/provincial regulation
Number of Escherichia coli bacteria tests in year 1820 samples 2,962 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 0.0% (no positive tests) All samples were negative and met the guideline/provincial regulation
Number of heterotrophic (bacteria) plate count (HPC) tests done no guideline 2,962 Heterotrophic plate count is not required under the new provincial regulations. We test for heterotrophic plate count to help identify potential problem areas in the distribution system.

Guidelines from 'Summary of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality' by Health Canada, revised February 1, 2011.

 Select this icon to print a printer friendly version of this page This page is printer friendly.

Last updated: June 23, 2016