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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.

2020

Date Location Estimated
amount
Estimated
duration
Cause
Sep. 15 1800mm land drainage sewer outfall located at 1002 Riviera Crescent 0.001 ML Approx. 3 minutes Contractor error
Incident details and response
  • On September 15, 2020 at 9 a.m., a department inspector noticed a contractor pumping wastewater from an excavation onto the roadway near the intersection of Irene Street and Clarence Avenue. The inspector instructed the contractor to stop pumping immediately and they complied.
  • The contractor was performing sewer work for the City and stated that they had been pumping for three minutes to de-water the excavation in order to retrieve a sewer inspection camera that had become stuck in the line. The inspector notified the contractor that our Environment Act Licence prohibits the intentional direction of wastewater to the land drainage system and ordered the contractor to clean up all wastewater on the street, adjacent sewer and land drainage catch basin. All cleanup work was complete by 5 p.m.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River is 0.001 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Thursday, September 15, 2020.
Sep. 10 2400 mm land drainage sewer located at Park Boulevard North and the Assiniboine River 0.015 ML Approx. 6 hours 14 minutes (from time reported until leak stopped) Sewer main leak
Incident details and response
  • On September 10, 2020 at 1:46 p.m., we received at service request for sewer back up for a residence on Holland Boulevard.
  • A maintenance crew was dispatched and was on site at 3:05 p.m. They noticed that there was wastewater coming up out of the ground near the intersection of Holland Boulevard and Bard Boulevard. The crew determined that the wastewater force-main from the wastewater lift station located at 605 Holland Boulevard was leaking. Vacuum cleaning units were called in to empty the station wet-well so that no wastewater would be pumped through the force-main. These units started pumping at 8 p.m. and will continue until the force-main is repaired. The force-main stopped leaking at 8 p.m. September 10, 2020.
  • Emergency underground utility clearances have been completed and repairs are ongoing. The station will continue to be by-passed until the repair is complete. Any contaminated soil will be removed and replaced.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is 0.015 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Thursday, September 10, 2020.
Aug. 26 1350 mm combine sewer outfall located at 2396 Portage Avenue at Strathmillan Street 0.12 ML Approx. 47 minutes Water main break
Incident details and response
  • On August 26 at 8:46 p.m., the McPhillips Control Centre received a weir overflow alarm for the Strathmillan Gate Chamber. The operator contacted Water Services and was informed that a large water main break had occurred at the intersection of Whytewold Road and Bruce Avenue. A standby maintenance crew was dispatched to investigate at 8:50 p.m.
  • The crew arrived on site at 10:05 p.m., at which time, the water main had been turned off and the overflow had stopped.
  • It is believed that water entered the Strathmillan system through manholes and catch basins located in the roadway and overwhelmed the local sewer system causing wastewater to overflow at the diversion weir located at Strathmillan Street and Portage Avenue. Our instrumentation indicates that an overflow due to the water main break occurred between 8:50 p.m. and 9:37 p.m.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is 0.12 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.
Aug. 13 2100 mm combine sewer outfall located at 1178A Kildonan Drive 0.02 ML Approx. 5 minutes Clogged pumps
Incident details and response
  • On August 13, 2020, at 8:22 p.m., SCADA received a weir overflow alarm from the Hawthorne Lift Station. A standby crew that was in the area headed over to the lift station to investigate. The crew found that the pumps were plugged. They restarted a pump and stopped the overflow at 8:33 p.m.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Sturgeon Creek is 0.02 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, August 13, 2020.
Aug. 5 1200 mm land drainage outfall adjacent to 3011 Portage Avenue 0.008 ML Approx. 3 hours Private sewer back up
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday, August 5, 2020, a Wastewater Services crew was following up on a previous service request and found a private manhole on Country Club Boulevard to be overflowing. Crews found sewage flowing overland into a curb inlet that was attached to a land drainage sewer which discharges into Sturgeon Creek.
  • The manager of the property was made aware of the situation and a private contractor cleared the blockage on the private sewer service, ending the overflow at the private manhole.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Sturgeon Creek from time of discovery until overflow stopped is 0.008 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.
Jul. 29 900 mm land drainage outfall located at the intersection of St. Charles Street and the Assiniboine River 0.036 ML Approx. 57 minutes Water main break (3rd party damage)
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 2:48 p.m., our SCADA Operations Center received an overflow alarm from the St. Charles Wastewater Pumping Station. Maintenance crew arrived on site at 3:20 p.m. and found a private contractor working on Stewart Street had damaged a local water main, which flooded the street. The flow from the water main break had overwhelmed the local land drainage inlets and was flowing into the nearby wastewater manhole. Water Services had already been notified of the break. They isolated the broken main by 3:45 p.m., stopping the wastewater overflow.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is 0.036 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Jul. 28 2000 mm land drainage outfall located at the intersection of Riviera Avenue and the Red River 0.002 ML Approx. 8 hours 19 minutes Cross connection
Incident details and response
  • On Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9:11 a.m., a private contractor conducting inspections for the City of Winnipeg reported that a commercial property located on Pembina Highway was discharging wastewater into the land drainage sewer. A City maintenance crew arrived on site at 10:20 a.m. to perform dye tracing tests and confirm there was a cross-connection.
  • Once confirmed, Water and Waste's Environmental Standards Division (ESD) was notified. At 4:11 p.m., ESD issued an Order to Correct to the business, directing them to immediately cease discharging wastewater to the land drainage sewer and make all required corrections before resuming operation. ESD confirmed that at 5:00 pm the business was closed.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River from the time of discovery until the discharge ceased is 0.002 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
Jun. 22 1600 mm combined sewer outfall located near 80 Churchill Drive 0.019ML*

*from discovery to clearance of blockage
4 hours 45 minutes*

*from discovery to clearance of blockage
Sewer blockage
Incident details and response
  • On Monday June 22, 2020 at 4:40 p.m., the City was informed of a dry weather overflow occurring at Nassau Street and Morley Avenue by a private contractor performing maintenance work for the City. A maintenance crew was immediately dispatched and arrived at 5:30 p.m. The crew investigated and found a blockage on Morley Avenue, about 330 feet west of Osborne Street. At 9:25 p.m. the blockage was cleared by a vacuum cleaning unit and the sewer returned to normal operation.
  • The estimated volume of overflow discharged to the Red River, from time of discovery until the blockage was cleared is 0.019 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Monday, June 22, 2020.
Jun. 17 1500 mm combined sewer outfall located at the intersection of Syndicate Street and the Red River 0.01 ML Approx. 35 minutes Power failure
Incident details and response
  • On Wednesday June 17, 2020 at 7:57 p.m., our Wastewater Control Center received a power fail alarm from the Syndicate Wastewater Pumping Station. A standby maintenance crew was dispatched, arriving on site at 8:25 p.m. The crew closed the outfall slide gate and connected a generator. Power was restored to the building at 8:32 p.m. and the pumps resumed normal operation.
  • At the time of the power failure, there was a concurrent wet weather overflow at Syndicate Station, caused by a rain event. The total volume of wastewater reported here only accounts for what would have been pumped for treatment had the power failure not occurred.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is 0.01 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
Apr. 11 900 mm land drainage outfall located at the intersection of St. Charles Street and the Assiniboine River 0.005 ML Approx. 1 hour 17 minutes Third party interference
Incident details and response
  • On Saturday April 11, 2020 at 3:08AM, our Wastewater Control Center received an overflow alarm from the St. Charles Wastewater Pumping Station. A crew was dispatched and arrived on site at 3:20 AM. The crew found a private contractor was performing cleaning work on a large private customer's sewer. The crew asked the contractor to cease all operations so that the station could catch up on the excess flow that was in the system. The St. Charles Station high level overflow pipe was checked and wastewater was observed flowing to the Assiniboine River.
  • The contractor told the crew that they were flushing grease build up in the private customer's sewer. It is believed that this caused a significant amount of wastewater that had backed up due to a blockage in the private sewer, to be released and subsequently overwhelm the St. Charles Station.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River as a result of this incident is 0.005 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Saturday, April 11, 2020.
Mar. 20 2750 mm storm relief sewer outfall located at the intersection of Spence Street and the Assiniboine River Unknown Unknown Sewer blockage
Incident details and response
  • On Friday, March 20, 2020, a maintenance crew was performing planned inspections of the overflow points connected to the Spence Storm Relief Sewer (SRS). The crew discovered that the combined sewer adjacent to 635 Sargent Avenue had a blockage and wastewater was backing up and flowing into the Spence SRS, which flows into the Assiniboine River. A vacuum cleaning unit was called in to clean the sewer. The blockage was cleared around 11:45 AM, allowing both the sewer and the SRS to return to their normal functions.
  • The duration of this overflow is not known. The overflow point adjacent to 635 Sargent Avenue was last inspected in October 2018.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is unknown, estimated at 0.02 ML/day.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Mar. 19 2750 mm storm relief sewer outfall located at the intersection of Spence Street and the Assiniboine River Unknown Unknown Sewer blockage
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday, March 19, 2020, a maintenance crew was performing planned inspections of the overflow points connected to the Spence Storm Relief Sewer (SRS). The crew discovered that the combined sewer in front of 340 Toronto Street had a blockage and wastewater was backing up and flowing into the Spence SRS, which flows into the Assiniboine River. A vacuum cleaning unit was called in to clean the sewer. The blockage was cleared around 12:15 PM, allowing both the sewer and the SRS to return to their normal functions.
  • The duration of this overflow is not known. The overflow point at 340 Toronto Street was last inspected in October 2018.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is unknown, estimated at 0.01 ML/day.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Mar. 15 2500 mm combined sewer outfall located at 1 Hart Avenue 0.06 ML Approx. 31 minutes Tripped breaker
Incident details and response
  • Our SCADA system was experiencing intermittent communication issues with the Hart Lift Station and dispatched a technician to investigate. While the technician was on site, a main breaker in the motor control centre was accidentally tripped around 11:35 PM, which shut down the pumps and caused an overflow to start at 11:42PM.
  • The technician called our SCADA Control Centre to request a generator. Around 12:05AM, the technician found the tripped breaker and restarted the pumps. By 12:13AM, the overflow had stopped.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is 0.06 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Mar. 6 1675 mm combined sewer outfall located at 905 Cockburn Street 1.18 ML Approx. 3 hours and 45 minutes Water main break (3rd party damage)
Incident details and response
  • Our SCADA operator dispatched a maintenance crew to the Cockburn Lift Station after receiving an overflow alarm at 12:33 PM.
  • The overflow was the result of a contractor damaging a large water main in the area, which caused significant amounts of water to flow out to the street and into the sewer system. The stations pumps could not keep up with the flow, and according to our instrumentation, begin to overflow at 12:46 PM.
  • The crew closed the slide gate to contain the discharge, with the discharge eventually stopping at approximately 4:30 PM. Unfortunately, when reviewing instrumentation after the event had ended, they noticed that some diluted wastewater continued to overflow, even though the slide gate was closed. This is being investigated and any required repairs or maintenance to remedy this will be made as soon as possible.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is 1.18 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Friday, March 6, 2020.
Feb. 29 1800 mm combined sewer outfall located at 246 Churchill Drive 0.04 ML Approx. 26 minutes Clogged pump
Incident details and response
  • Our SCADA operator dispatched a maintenance crew to the Baltimore Wastewater Pumping Station after receiving an overflow alarm at 4:00 PM. Maintenance crews arrived on site and manually operated station pumps to bring levels down, with the overflow alarm clearing at 4:26 PM.
  • The overflow was caused by a rope that was jammed in a pump.
  • The crew conducted some on-site maintenance of the pump and the station was returned back to normal operation.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is 0.04 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.
Feb. 23 2100 mm combined sewer outfall located at 1178A Kildonan Drive 0.07 ML Approx. 20 minutes Pump failure
Incident details and response
  • Our SCADA operator had dispatched a maintenance crew to Hawthorne Wastewater Pumping Station to clear two clogged pumps. While clearing the clogged pumps an overflow started at around 3:39 PM, and continued until approximately 4:00 PM.
  • The overflow was caused during the work to unclog the pumps. While unclogging pumps number one and two, pump three was left to handle the flows. Unfortunately pump three did not start as expected resulting in an overflow.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is 0.07 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.
Feb. 21 1050mm combined sewer outfall located at 691 Tache Avenue 0.189 ML Approx. 6 hours Firefighting
Incident details and response
  • An overflow alarm for the Dumoulin Lift Station was received by SCADA operators at 12:31 AM and a crew was dispatched. It was determined that the overflow was caused by firefighting efforts approximately one block away, at the corner of Provencher Boulevard and Rue St. Joseph.
  • The overflow briefly stopped at 1:37AM, but resumed at 5:37AM. This second overflow ended at 6:03AM. The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is 0.189 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Friday, February 21, 2020.
Feb. 20 1600mm combined sewer outfall located at 1 Cornish Avenue 0.105 ML Approx. 40 minutes Water main flushing
Incident details and response
  • An overflow alarm for the Cornish Lift Station was received by SCADA operators at 2:48 PM. and a crew was dispatched. It was determined that the overflow was caused by water main flushing, which was the final step in completing a water main break repair near Portage and Arlington Street.
  • The overflow stopped at 3:32 PM and the estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River as a result of this incident is 0.105ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
Feb. 18 1600mm combined sewer outfall located at 1 Cornish Avenue 0.038 ML Approx. 7 hours Water main leak
Incident details and response
  • On February 18, 2020, SCADA received a weir overflow alarm at 2:02 AM for the Cornish Lift Station. The SCADA operator confirmed a hydrant leak at Portage Avenue and Broadway Street had occurred and was shut off.
  • At 7:30 AM, a SCADA operator noticed increasingly higher flow levels and a maintenance crew was dispatched.
  • At 8:30 AM, the crew closed the outfall slide gate. Around 10:00 AM, the crew noticed that the outfall slide gate was leaking.
  • A second maintenance crew arrived on site around 10:30AM and determined the higher flow was caused by a water main leak at Portage Avenue and Simcoe Street. The slide gate leak stopped at 5:00 PM.
  • The closure of the outfall slide gate appeared to have limited effect on containing the overflow, possibly because of ice buildup in the outfall chamber or a partial failure of the slide gate.
  • The department will be investigating the cause further and make any required repairs in a timely manner.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River as a result of the water main break is 0.038 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
Feb. 16 1350 mm combined sewer outfall at 2396 Portage Avenue 0.11 ML Approx. 30 minutes Water main break
Incident details and response
  • Our SCADA operator received an overflow alarm and immediately dispatched a maintenance crew.
  • The maintenance crew arrived on site to see that Water Services was working to control a water main break.
  • The maintenance crew checked the outfall gate chamber. The overflow stopped as a result of Water Services controlling the water main break.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River as a result of this incident is 0.11 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.
Jan. 24 1600mm combined sewer outfall located at 1 Cornish Avenue 0.92 ML Approx. 5 hours Water main break
Incident details and response
  • On January 24, 2020, a SCADA operator noticed high flow levels and a maintenance crew was dispatched.
  • At 9:10 AM, the outfall slide gate was closed and a weir overflow alarm was received at 9:38 AM.
  • The high flow was caused by a water main break at Portage Avenue and Arlington Street.
  • The SCADA CSO data indicated an overflow began at 12:48 PM and stopped at 5:55 PM.
  • The closure of the outfall slide gate appeared to have no effect on containing the overflow, possibly because of ice buildup in the outfall chamber or a failure of the slide gate.
  • The department will be investigating the cause further and make any required repairs in a timely manner.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River as a result of the water main break is 0.92 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Friday, January 24, 2020.
Last updated: September 17, 2020

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