Accessibility Accessibility Site Accessibility Information Access Key 1 to Skip to Top Navigation Access Key 2 to Skip to the Three One One link Access Key 3 to Skip to City of Winnipeg Main Menu Access Key 4 to Skip to Left Navigation Menu Access Key 5 to Skip to Content area Access Key 6 to Skip to Right Sidebar content area Access Key 7 to Skip to Footer Links
Link to the City of Winnipeg French websiteFrançais  |  Current weather in the City of Winnipeg Accessibility   |   
Three one one Online Services

Aerial photo of Shoal Lake intake

Since we began using Shoal Lake as our water supply in 1919, we have not had an outbreak of waterborne disease.

Water treatment program

Winnipeg's drinking water
From Shoal Lake to your tap

Winnipeg's drinking water:

Drinking water quality

Our water is of a higher quality than set out by the Canadian drinking water quality guidelines.

Getting the water to the water treatment plant from Shoal Lake

Shoal Lake is a large isolated lake in the southeast corner of Manitoba, at the Manitoba-Ontario border. It is 137 kilometres (86 miles) from Winnipeg and about 92 metres (300 feet) higher.

Top of page

Construction of aqueduct Aqueduct

Since Shoal Lake is higher than Winnipeg, water flows downhill through the aqueduct. The aqueduct is a large concrete pipe that was built to carry the water. Construction started in 1915 and was completed in 1919. It cost 17 million dollars at the time and can carry 386 million litres, or 85 million gallons, of water per day.

Top of page

Deacon Reservoir

Aerial view of Deacon Reservoir Before it is treated, water from Shoal Lake is stored in Deacon Reservoir. The reservoir is on the east side of the Winnipeg floodway, a few kilometres south of highway 15. The reservoir was named after Thomas R. Deacon, the mayor of Winnipeg in 1913 who promoted the Shoal Lake project.

Water is stored at Deacon Reservoir to handle peak summer demands for water and to allow brief shutdowns of the aqueduct for maintenance. The four large outdoor reservoirs hold up to 8.8 billion litres (1.9 billion gallons) of water – enough to supply Winnipeg for about 30 days. Powerful pumps move the water from the reservoirs into the plant for treatment.

Top of page

Water treatment process

The new water treatment plant is at the Deacon Reservoir and is about the size of the MTS Centre. The plant is a state-of-the-art, modern facility designed for performance, safety, and environmental sustainability. As water passes through, it goes through several treatment processes, including dissolved air flotation, ozonation, filtration and ultraviolet light disinfection.

Water treatment protects public health by:
  • virtually eliminating the risk of waterborne disease
  • reducing levels of disinfection by-products
  • allowing us to meet increasingly strict Canadian drinking water quality guidelines

It also improves the taste and odour of the drinking water.

Top of page

Wate surge tower thumbnail image Final treatment

The water flows through two large pipes where:

Top of page

To your tap
  • The water then flows from the water treatment plant to the three regional reservoirs and pumping stations.
  • Chlorine is added again before the water flows through the distribution system of feeder mains and a network of water mains and plumbing pipes that connect to your tap.

Last updated: February 24, 2014

top of pageTop of page