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Protecting our waterways

Doing our part: Phosphorous reduction

Phosphorus graph

Nutrients in wastewater, such as phosphorous, can act as a food source for algae, fish, and other animals. If a river or lake receives too many nutrients, this can lead to overabundance of algae, which hurts the biodiversity and overall health of the water system. This is called eutrophication.

The City of Winnipeg is committed to doing our part to reduce nutrients to our rivers and lakes, including Lake Winnipeg which currently suffers from an overabundance of phosphorous. In 2008 and 2009 we completed upgrades at the West End Sewage Treatment Plant (otherwise known as WEWPCC), and the North End Sewage Treatment Plant (otherwise known as NEWPCC), reducing our phosphorous load to Lake Winnipeg, by 25 per cent.

Currently Winnipeg's phosphorous contribution to Lake Winnipeg is 3 per cent*. Upgrades to the South End Sewage Treatment Plant (otherwise known as SEWPCC), which is currently under construction, and future upgrades to the NEWPCC will reduce this number even further once these projects are completed.

*Total phosphorous loads to Lake Winnipeg based on the 2007 phosphorous load reported in Table 7.2 of the State of the Lake Report

Don't throw garbage down the drain

Things that go into the sewer through toilets, sinks or storm drains can clog our sewer system or end up in our rivers. You can help make a difference in the health of our waterways by following these proper disposal suggestions.

Supporting Research and Environmental Protection

The Water and Waste Department supports initiatives to improve water quality and wastewater treatment with the following grants and memberships:

Save Our Seine

Annual $30,000 grant to the Save our Seine to promote environmental protection and stewardship of the Seine River.

For more information on Save our Seine:

University of Manitoba Collaborative Research

Annual $30,000 grant and services-in-kind to support research into new and innovative wastewater treatment processes with an emphasis on improving treatment efficiency and nutrient removal.

Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium

The Water and Waste Department is a supporting member ($60,000) of the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium to promote research and understanding on issues critical to the health and wellbeing of Lake Winnipeg.

For more information on the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium:

Last updated: August 28, 2019