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News Releases

July 30, 2012

Scheduled water main work may temporarily cause discoloured water this week for some residents in parts of northeast Winnipeg

Released: 1:53 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - July 30, 2012 -In conjunction with scheduled water main work on Molson Street at Grassie Boulevard, the flow of water in a large water main on Molson Street will be adjusted over a period of two to three days starting Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at approximately 8:00 a.m.

Water service will not be disrupted, but tap water may be temporarily discoloured for some residents in North Kildonan, Harbourview and the north part of Elmwood/East Kildonan.

Water mains are underground pipes that carry water from pumping stations to the street. Water travels slowly through the mains, causing sediment to settle to the bottom and build up over time. Adjusting the flow of the water in the mains (e.g., due to water main work, hydrant use for firefighting) can temporarily disturb the sediment and deposits in the pipes, and can cause discoloured water for some properties.

Discoloured water events typically don’t last long.  The disturbed sediment that is normally associated with these events has not been found to pose a health concern, and should not make you sick. However, discoloured water may not smell, taste or look pleasant, and can stain laundry.

To check if water is discoloured:

  • Turn on a cold water tap and let the water run for a few minutes.
  • Catch some water in a light-coloured cup or container to see if it is clear. If it is clear, it can be used. If the water doesn’t clear within five minutes, wait 30 minutes and try again.

If discoloured water persists for more than two to three hours, residents should call 311.

This water main work is part of the $14 million in the 2012 budget for the City’s annual water main renewal program to improve the system’s reliability. Since 1998, more than $125 million has been invested in the water distribution system.

The City also has a program to clean water mains each year to help preserve the very high quality of water as it passes from the drinking water treatment plant to the taps. About 306 kilometres of the 2,400 kilometres of water mains will be cleaned this year in the Riverview area as well as in areas west of the Red River and south of Wilkes Avenue.

Manitoba Health and Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship regulate the quality of Winnipeg’s drinking water using the Manitoba Drinking Water Safety Act and the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Winnipeg’s water is tested each step of the way, from Shoal Lake to the tap, to ensure safe, high-quality drinking water. Because water quality is so important, the City does more testing than the provincial government requires.

Winnipeg residents will be informed immediately if there is ever a water quality problem that could affect public health.

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Last update: 23.10.2012

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