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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.

2014

Date Location Estimated
discharge
Estimated
duration
Cause Incident details and response
Sept. 12 Burrows Avenue storm relief sewer outfall, 125 Burrows Avenue Unknown Unknown Blockage
  • At 9:30 am on Sept. 12, a crew investigated an overflow to the Burrows Storm Relief Sewer at Jarvis Avenue, west of Arlington Street, based on a report from a contractor hired by the City to clean and inspect sewers.
  • The crew found and cleared a blockage by 11:30 at the intersection of Dufferin Avenue and Parr Street. An overflow was not observed at the Burrows outfall to the Red River due to high water levels.
  • Crews will continue to monitor this location until a video inspection can be made of the blocked sewer.
  • The incident was reported on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
July 7 Metcalfe flood pump station, 242 Metcalfe Avenue 0.57 ML 14 minutes Water main break
  • At about 12:45 am on July 7, McPhillips Control Center observed an increase in flow to the Metcalfe station.
  • A standby crew, onsite by about 1:40 am, determined that the increased flow from a water main break caused flow in the sewer system to exceed the lift station pump capabilities, resulting in a discharge of diluted sewage to the Red River.
  • During normal summer river levels, the flood station pumps would be deactivated and water main breaks of this nature would normally be contained. If flows in the sewer system reach a critical elevation, a controlled discharge would occur to help prevent sewer backup into residential basements. Due to the current higher than normal river levels and the loss of gravity sewer relief, the Metcalfe flood pump station is activated so that during periods of heavy rain (or in this case a water main break), the sewer system can be relieved.
  • The incident was reported on Monday, July 7, 2014, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
June 29 Dumoulin pumping station, 691 Tache Avenue 5.9 ML 47 hours Fire
  • A fire occurred at the Dumoulin pumping station at about 5:00 pm on Sunday resulting in the complete loss of the lift and flood pumping capabilities of the station.
  • Once the site was cleared by the fire department, temporary pumps were set up to prevent sewer back-up in the district, becoming operational at 9:30 pm. While some flow was directed to the nearby La Verendrye flood pump station, a portion of the flow from the Dumoulin pump station discharged directly to the Red River until a semi-permanent solution was in place by 4:30 pm on July 1.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting Line and Environment Canada on Sunday, June 29, 2014.
May 3 Olive lift station, 2461 Assiniboine Crescent 0.013 ML 25 minutes Power failure
  • At about 11:15 am on May 3, a power failure alarm was received from the Olive lift station
  • A crew was immediately dispatched and had the positive gate closed and the station pumps reset by noon, completely stopping the overflow to the Assiniboine River by 12:05 pm.
  • Normally, pumps are designed to restart automatically once power is restored after a power failure.  However, we discovered a flaw in the controls that prevented startup and are working to correct it.
  • The incident was reported on Saturday May 3, 2014, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
April 14 Combined sewer outfall at Conway Street, south of Portage Avenue Unknown 5 hours Unknown
  • On April 14, at 6:43 am, an alarm was received from the Conway lift station located at Conway Street, south of Portage Avenue.
  • At 7:45 am, a maintenance crew was dispatched to the location. The crew inspected the operational pump for a blockage and, by 11:15 am, determined that this was not the cause of the alarm.
  • At 2:00 pm, the maintenance crew proceeded to inspect the flap gate and concluded that flow from the combined sewer was discharging to the river. As a result, a maintenance crew closed the gate, and flow to the river stopped by 3:45 pm.
  • By 10:32 pm, the overflow alarm had cleared and, at 11:00 pm, the gate was re-opened.
  • The incident was reported April 15 to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line, as well as to Environment Canada.
April 5 Woodlands Crescent and Portage Avenue Unknown Unknown Blocked sewer
  • On April 5, at 11:15 am, a crew conducting routine inspections noticed flow backing up in the wastewater sewer on Portage Avenue at Woodlands Crescent and overflowing through a land drainage sewer that flows into Sturgeon Creek approximately 70 metres north of Portage Avenue at Sturgeon Road.
  • A maintenance crew located and cleared a blockage in the wastewater sewer downstream of the overflow location at 1:15 pm, and the overflow stopped at 1:30 pm.
  • The incident was reported April 5, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
April 1 Combined sewer relief outfall, 1178 “A” Kildonan Drive .1 ML. 92 minutes Water main break
  • At 5:48 am on April 1, McPhillips Control Centre received an alarm from our Hawthorne station.
  • A crew, on site by about 6:10 am, determined that the flow to the lift station was exceeding the pumping capacity.
  • The crew closed the combined sewer relief outfall pipe gate by about 6:20 am to prevent further discharge to the Red River.
  • The diluted sewage continued to increase in the sewer pipe system, and by about 6:50 am, levels had reached critical elevation (the maximum level that sewage can build up in the sewer pipes before backup into basements becomes an unacceptable high risk).
  • To prevent sewer back-up, the crew opened the combined sewer relief pipe outfall gate and allowed a small discharge to the river to allow the sewer levels to drop below the critical elevation.
  • The gate was reclosed by about 7:50 am.
  • An investigation determined that a water main break in the area had caused a large volume of water to drain into the combined system which leads to the Hawthorne station.
  • The water main leak was isolated by about 6:55 am, and by about 9:10 am, the lift station was back to normal operation and the outfall gate was reopened.
  • The incident was reported on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
Mar 13 200 Syndicate, combined sewer relief outfall Unknown 7 hours Water main break and spring melt
  • On March 13 at 1:09 pm, an alarm was received from the Syndicate station.
  • A crew, onsite by about 1:25 pm, began monitoring the flow, and at 3:34 pm, noticed a minimal amount of diluted sewage discharging to the Red River through one side of the closed positive gate.
  • Water main breaks in the area combined with some snow melt due to the mild weather conditions on March 13, caused flow to overtop the weir at Syndicate station and discharge through the previously closed positive gate from about 3:34 pm to 10:30 pm.
  • The incident was reported Thursday March 13, 2014, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
Mar 7 200 Syndicate, combined sewer relief outfall Unknown 3 hours Water main break
  • On March 7, 2014, at 12:45 am, McPhillips Control Centre received an alarm from the Syndicate station.
  • A standby crew was on site by approximately 1:30 am and were unable to completely close the positive gate to control the discharge due to ice buildup.
  • A water main break in the area caused the flow to exceed the capacity of both station pumps. As a result, raw sewage flowed over the weir and into the Red River from about 12:50 a.m. to 3:50 a.m.
  • The incident was reported Friday, March 7, 2014 to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
Feb. 19 Riverbend combined sewer relief outfall, 1740 Portage Avenue 0.17 ML 2 hours, 5 minutes Water main break and pump failure
  • On Feb. 21, we received a report from our CSO Instrumentation Consultant, of a discharge of raw sewage to the Assiniboine River on Feb. 19, from about 2:30 to 4:35 pm.
  • The discharge was the result of a water main break in the area and the failure of one of the pumps in the Riverbend station, causing flow to exceed the pump capacity of the second pump.
  • We are currently investigating our internal alarms at this station.
  • The incident was reported on Monday, February 24, 2014, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
Jan. 2 Mission combined sewer outfall, 91 Rue Archibald 1.0 ML 1 hour, 30 minutes Power interruption
  • At 7:31 pm, Jan. 2, a power failure caused the shutdown of the Montcalm wastewater pump station.
  • A crew, on site by 8:00 pm, began monitoring wastewater levels at the gate chamber.
  • Since the gate chamber is undergoing renovations, it wasn’t possible to close the positive gate, but a temporary sandbag weir had been constructed to contain excess flows.
  • Before a temporary generator could arrive to power the wastewater pumps, sewage began flowing over the temporary sandbag weir to the Red River at 10:25 pm.
  • By 11:05 pm, Hydro had restored power to the station and the crew energized the wastewater pumps.
  • By 11:50 pm, the discharge to the river stopped.
  • The incident was reported on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, to Manitoba Conservation's Environmental Accident Reporting Line as well as to Environment Canada.
Last updated: January 11, 2018