Feeder main work may temporarily cause discoloured water for some residents in west Winnipeg

Released: February 12, 2014 at 1:10 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - A four-month construction project will begin this week to replace a section of aging feeder main at the intersection of Eldridge Avenue and Haney Street. This work could cause discoloured water from time to time for some residents in Charleswood, Tuxedo, St. James, Brooklands, and St. Charles.

A feeder main is a large pressurized water pipe that carries water from a pumping station to the water main network. Unlike a water main, it does not have connections to homes or businesses along its route.

Any time there is a major change in the rate or direction of flow of water in the distribution system, sediment, including minerals (e.g., manganese) and dead algae, in the water pipes can loosen and be released into the water. This material can stain laundry and may also affect the taste of the water or of any beverages made with it.

If residents experience discoloured water, it is recommended they do not use it for any purposes that require clean water (e.g., for drinking, preparing food and beverages, laundry). This recommendation is because discoloured water does not taste, smell or look pleasant, and it can stain clothes - health officials do not believe that drinking discoloured water would pose a health risk.

Residents that notice their water is discoloured should:

  • Turn on a cold water tap and let the water run for a few minutes. It is best to use a bathtub tap as there is no screen to trap any sediment.
  • Catch some water in a light-coloured cup. If the water isn’t clear, turn off the tap, wait 30 minutes and try again. Discoloured water usually doesn't last long. If the water still isn't clear after waiting two to three hours, contact 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone or by email at 311@winnipeg.ca.

A plan is underway, including a number of short and long term measures, to reduce the level of manganese in the distribution system. Implementing all the measures is expected to take approximately two years. However, residents can expect a gradual reduction in discoloured water as each measure is completed.

Residents can find:

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