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Reports on untreated sewage

As requested by the Province of Manitoba, we report on the incidents of untreated sewer release into the environment as a result of a disruption to our wastewater collection system. These events are usually the result of something unanticipated like a water main break or a power outage. When sewer operations are disrupted, the sewage can be released into the environment, which helps protect public health and prevent property damage like basement flooding.

2019

Date Location Estimated
amount
Estimated
duration
Cause
Feb. 15 900 mm land drainage outfall located at the intersection of St. Charles Street and the Assiniboine River 0.24 ML Approx. 30 hours Blocked Sewer
Incident details and response
  • On February 14, 2019 at 12:06 PM, a resident called the City's 311 call center to report a sewer back up. At 4:08 PM, a maintenance crew inspected the City sewer and reported that there were no observed issues with our system.
  • At 8:09 PM, a second resident reported to 311 that they had hired a plumber to inspect their sewer service and the plumber believed the problem to be in the City's sewer.
  • A maintenance crew attended the site again on February 15, 2019 at 11 AM and observed that the City sewer was flowing, but that flow to the St. Charles Lift Station might be restricted. Further investigation found that wastewater was discharging from the land drainage outfall located at St Charles Street and the Assiniboine River.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit was dispatched and arrived on site at 1:30 PM. The wastewater sewer west of the St. Charles Lift Station on Sansome Avenue was cleaned and the discharge to the Assiniboine River stopped at 2:07 PM on February 15, 2019.
  • The overflow occurred at the high level overflow from the wastewater system to the land drainage system, located at the intersection of Gagnon Street and Sansome Avenue. This overflow is designed to protect local residences from sewer backup in the event of a failure at the St. Charles Lift Station.
  • As the blockage occurred upstream of the station, we did not get an alarm. Based on all of our information, we believe the overflow occurred between 8 AM on February 14 and 2:07 PM February 15. The total amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be approximately 0.24 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Friday February 15, 2019.
Feb. 14 1100 mm Land Drainage Outfall located at the intersection of Moore Avenue and the Red River 0.004 ML Unknown Broken Sewer
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday February 14, 2019 at approximately 12 PM, a contractor performing a video inspection of the land drainage sewer on Parkville Drive informed the City that a residential sewer service was broken and that wastewater may be discharging into the land drainage sewer.
  • On Friday February 15, 2019 at 4:30 PM, the contractor provided the video to City personal for review. Even though the video evidence wasn't conclusive, it was decided that an immediate repair was required.
  • Emergency utility clearances were obtained on Saturday February 16, 2019 and excavation began on Sunday February 17, 2019. Excavation was difficult due to the presence of other utilities and frozen ground.
  • On Tuesday February 19, 2019, crews confirmed that the sewer service was discharging wastewater into the land drainage sewer and completed the repair.
  • The duration of the discharge is unknown. The amount of wastewater discharged into the land drainage sewer from the time an issue was first observed to the time the service was repaired is estimated to be 0.004 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting Line on Tuesday February 19, 2019.
Jan. 17 1350 mm Strathmillan Combined Sewer Outfall located at 2396 Portage Avenue 0.018 ML Approx. 6 minutes Power Failure
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 7:35 AM, our SCADA operator at the McPhillips Control Centre received an alarm from the Olive Lift Station indicating that a loss of power had occurred. A maintenance crew, equipped with a mobile generator, were dispatched immediately, arriving at the station at approximately 8:31 AM. While the crew was in transit, Manitoba Hydro restored power, returning the station to normal operation and stopping the discharge to the river at 8:26 AM river.
  • The loss of power resulted in the 600 mm interceptor sewer between Strathmillan Diversion Station and Olive Wastewater Lift Station becoming surcharged, overtopping the diversion weir and causing an overflow to the Strathmillan Combined Sewer Outfall.
  • After reviewing our instrumentation from this incident, we found that the overflow at the Strathmillan Combined Sewer Outfall lasted approximately 6 minutes between 8:22 AM and 8:28 AM.
  • The total volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be 0.018 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Friday January 18, 2018.
Last updated: February 22, 2019