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City of Winnipeg
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Until Election Day
on October 24

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.

2006

Date Location Estimated
discharge
Estimated
duration
Cause Incident details and response
October 18 Assiniboine River - Ash sewage pumping station 18000 litres 8 minutes Water main break
  • High level alarm received at 3:32 p.m.
  • Crew arrived at 3:40 p.m. and determined flow to the station exceeding pumping capacity due to large volume of drinking water draining into the Ash combined sewer from water main break at Niagara and Fleet.
  • Crew immediately began closing gate on outfall pipe but observed start of discharge of diluted raw sewage to the river at 3:47 p.m.
  • Gate completely closed at 3:55 p.m. and discharge stopped.
  • Water main break isolated and sewer levels began dropping.
  • Alarm ended at 5:23 p.m. and gate opened at 6:15 p.m.
  • Incident reported to Manitoba Conservation, Manitoba Environmental Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada.
August 22 Red River - Ducharme land drainage sewer 7300 litres 45 minutes Installed sewer plug
  • High level alarm received around 12:15 p.m.
  • Estimate overflow began at 12:20 p.m.
  • Responding crew discovered that a contractor working in the Ducharme sanitary sewer had installed a sewer plug, which caused sewage to back up into the Ducharme land drainage sewer.
  • Contractor called and plug removed.
  • Sewer levels returned to normal and discharge of sewage stopped at 1:05 p.m.
  • Incident reported to Manitoba Conservation, Manitoba Environmental Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada.
July 19 Red River - Syndicate sewage pumping station Unknown 6 hours and 15 minutes Water from fire fighting
  • Water used by firefighters to put out a fire at 65 Higgins drained into combined sewer.
  • Syndicate station pumping capacity exceeded and high level alarm received about 7 a.m.
  • Responding crew decided not to close gate due to basement flooding concerns.
  • Around noon, crew partially closed gate and, with reducing flows, completely closed gate at 1:15 p.m., stopping discharge of diluted raw sewage to river.
  • Incident reported to Manitoba Conservation, Manitoba Environmental Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada.
July 1 Red River - Cockburn sewage pumping station Unknown 1 hour and 40 minutes Water main break
  • 500 mm feeder main (major distribution water main) break at Grant Ave. and Nathaniel St. caused large volume of drinking water to drain into combined sewer.
  • Cockburn station pumping capacity exceeded and high level alarm received at 1:50 a.m.
  • Crew arrived around 2:15 a.m. and decided not to close gate due to basement flooding concerns.
  • Flow from water main break was reduced and discharge of diluted raw sewage stopped by closing gate at 3:30 a.m.
  • Volume of discharge unknown but sewage flows are lowest during the night.
  • Incident reported to Manitoba Conservation, Manitoba Environmental Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada.
May 3 Red River - Crescent Dr. to St. Vital Park river crossing pipe 2160 litres 9 minutes Joint separation
  • During routine monitoring, crew found evidence of river water entering river crossing pipe on Crescent Dr. side.
  • Inflatable plug installed at 3:45 p.m. to allow for pipe to be televised.
  • Pipe determined to have a separated joint.
  • When plug removed around 3:59 p.m., backed up wastewater in upstream pipe surged, causing pipe to temporarily discharge from separated joint into river.
  • Estimated average discharge of 4 litres per second from 3:59 p.m. to 4:08 p.m.
  • River water resumed entering pipe at 4:08 p.m.
  • Manitoba Conservation on site at the time of discharge. Incident reported to Manitoba Environmental Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada.

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Last updated: January 11, 2018