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
City of Winnipeg
|  Link to the City of Winnipeg French websiteFrançais  |

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.

2019

Date Location Estimated
amount
Estimated
duration
Cause
May 17 500mm St. Vital Bridge River Crossing located between Kingston Row and Churchill Drive 10 litres Unknown Pipe leak
Incident details and response
  • On Friday, May 17, at approximately 2:00 PM, a maintenance crew found a small leak in the 500mm river crossing pipe underneath the St Vital Bridge, during a routine visual inspection of the St. Vital River Crossing.
  • A bridge inspection truck was called in so that a maintenance crew could access the pipe. Work began to install a repair clamp at 4:00 PM and the repair was completed at 10:30 PM.
  • The last visual inspection at this location was on Wednesday May 15, 2019. There was no sign of leakage from the pipe at that time.
  • The volume of wastewater discharged is minor and estimated to be 10 litres.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Friday, May 17, 2019.
May 4 900mm land drainage outfall located at the intersection of St. Charles Street and the Assiniboine River;
and at the 1950mm land drainage outfall at Ness Avenue and Sturgeon Creek
0.286ML Approx. 11 hours Broken force-main
Incident details and response
  • On Saturday May 4, 2019 at 7:02 a.m., our Wastewater Services SCADA Operator received a high level alarm at St. Charles Wastewater Pumping Station. A Wastewater Services crew was immediately dispatched to investigate. While driving to the site, the crew noticed water coming up through the pavement on Portage Avenue at St. Charles Street and called the Water Services emergency line to report a water main break. The crew arrived at St. Charles Station at 7:45 a.m. and performed a thorough check of the station.
  • While the crew was servicing the St. Charles Station, Water Services arrived on site to investigate the reported water main break. At 11:30 a.m., Water Services determined that it was wastewater, not water, coming up through the pavement on Portage Avenue.
  • Wastewater Services then checked the St. Charles force-main discharge manhole north of Portage Avenue on Isbister Street. They noticed no flow, which indicated that the wastewater force-main was broken and leaking. They also noticed wastewater flowing into two catch basins. One catch basin is located south of Portage Avenue on St. Charles Street and the other runs east on Portage Avenue. These catch basins eventually flow in to the Assiniboine River and Sturgeon Creek, respectively.
  • Around 2 p.m. vacuum cleaning equipment arrived on site and began to draw down wastewater upstream of the St. Charles Wastewater Pumping Station and transport it downstream for transmission to the wastewater treatment facility. At 6 PM the station pumps were shut off and wastewater stopped overflowing on to Portage Avenue.
  • Emergency utility clearances were obtained and excavation began at 7:30 p.m. to repair the broken force-main. Vacuum cleaning units continued transporting wastewater from the St. Charles Catchment area downstream for treatment. The repair was completed and crews were flushing the force-main before putting the station back on-line.
  • The sidewalks and the curb lanes of St. Charles Street and Portage Avenue were cleaned with water and street sweeping equipment on Sunday May 5, 2019 and we will be removing the top 4" of soil from any contaminated grassed areas on Monday, May 6, 2019.
  • The total amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River and Sturgeon Creek is estimated to be approximately 0.210 and 0.074ML respectively. In addition, 0.002 ML is believed to have contaminated the boulevard soil along Portage Avenue and Isbister Street.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Saturday May 4, 2019.
Apr. 4 Intersection of Dugald Rd and Murdock Rd 10 cubic meters of foam Unknown Foaming from Manhole
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday April 4, 2019, foam was seen on the ground near the manhole located at the corner of Dugald Road and Murdock Road. This manhole received wastewater flows from the City's Drinking Water Treatment Plant.
  • The foam was cleaned up, but continued to intermittently reappear. The City has cleaned up the remaining foam and has now sealed the manhole as a temporary measure. The Water Services Division is reviewing how to prevent this foam from forming.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.
Mar. 19 1800mm combined sewer outfall located at 200 Syndicate Street 0.12 ML Approx. 3 hours Water main leak
Incident details and response
  • On Tuesday, March 19, 2019 a water main break occurred at 149 Angus Avenue. On Wednesday, March 20, 2019 the water main was put on restricted flow to alleviate high levels observed at the Syndicate Wastewater Pumping Station. However, levels began to increase due to snow melt and at 2 PM the crew on site closed the outfall slide gate to prevent a discharge of wastewater to the Red River.
  • Due to the water main break and melting conditions, levels at the station continued to rise. At 3:45 PM, to prevent a further rise in the collection system that may result in basement flooding, the outfall slide gate was slightly opened resulting in a discharge of wastewater to the Red River. At 6 PM the flow had subsided enough to allow the slide gate to be closed completely and thereby stopping the flow of wastewater to the river.
  • The leaking water main is scheduled to be repaired today, Thursday, March 21. Wastewater Services will continue to monitor the levels at Syndicate Wastewater Pumping Station and will operate the outfall slide gate as required in order to prevent any further discharges to the Red River or basement flooding.
  • The volume of diluted wastewater discharged to the Red River is estimated to be 0.12 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting Line on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 4:30 PM.
Mar. 5 1200 mm Woodlands Land Drainage Sewer Outfall located adjacent to 3011 Portage Avenue 0.035 ML Approx. 3 hours Grease
Incident details and response
  • On Tuesday March 5, 2019 at approximately 10 AM, Wastewater Services received notification of open water on Sturgeon Creek near Sturgeon Road and Portage Avenue. A maintenance crew was dispatched at approximately 10:45 AM and arrived on site at approximately 11:50 AM.
  • Once on-site, the crew noticed the 250mm Portage Avenue wastewater sewer was backed up and overflowing into the 1200mm Woodlands Land Drainage Sewer Outfall. The blockage was located and a vacuum cleaning unit arrived on site at approximately 12:45 PM. By 1:15 PM, the blockage was cleared and the overflow stopped.
  • The cause of the blockage was reported to be "grease." We currently perform preventative maintenance cleaning and degreasing at this location on a quarterly basis however, the blockage occurred downstream of where we currently perform this maintenance. Due to this incident our preventative maintenance at this location will now extend from Woodlands Crescent to School Road in order to prevent future overflow occurrences.
  • The volume of wastewater discharged to Sturgeon Creek from the time the blockage was reported until the time it was cleared is estimated to be 0.035 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting Line on Tuesday March 5, 2019.
Feb. 25 1675mm combined sewer outfall located at 905 Cockburn Street 0.003 ML Approx. 2 hours Water main leak
Incident details and response
  • On Monday, February 25, 2019 at approximately 11:15 PM, our Wastewater Services SCADA Operator received a weir overflow alarm at the Cockburn Wastewater Pumping Station.
  • A crew was dispatched at approximately 11:30 PM and arrived on site at approximately 12:30 AM. Once on-site, the crew noticed wastewater spilling out of the outfall and proceeded to close the outfall slide gate. The gate was fully closed on Tuesday, February 26 at approximately 1:15 AM.
  • Once the outfall slide gate was fully closed and flow was contained, the crew called the Water Services emergency line to confirm if there was a water main break or leak in the area.
  • The Water Services crew indicated that the most recent hydrant supply line repair at Nathaniel Street and Grant Avenue has a leaking valve, which is allowing water to enter the combined sewer through the street catch basins. Once we have confirmed the station is back to normal operation, the slide gate will be reopened.
  • The volume of diluted wastewater discharged to the Red River is estimated to be 0.003 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting Line on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.
Feb. 21 1675mm combined sewer outfall located at 905 Cockburn Street 0.004 ML Approx. 1.5 hours Water main break
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday, February 21, 2019 at approximately 10:38 AM, our Wastewater Services SCADA Operator received a weir overflow alarm at the Cockburn Wastewater Pumping Station. A crew was dispatched at 10:42 AM and arrived on site at 11:30 AM.
  • The crew attending the site noticed wastewater spilling out of the outfall and proceeded to close the outfall slide gate. The gate was fully closed at 12:10 PM.
  • Once the outfall slide gate was fully closed and flow was contained, the crew called the Water Services emergency line to confirm if there was a water main break or leak in the area. The Water Services crew indicated that a major leak on a hydrant supply line occurred at Nathaniel Street and Grant Avenue, which was allowing water to enter the combined sewer through the street catch basins.
  • Water Services was dispatched to contain the leak and by 4PM, the flow to the catch basins had stopped. At 6:15 PM, the weir overflow alarm cleared and the outfall slide gate was opened. The station was back to normal operation at 6:40 PM.
  • The volume of diluted wastewater discharged to the Red River is estimated to be 0.004 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting Line on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 1:30 PM.
Feb. 15 900 mm land drainage outfall located at the intersection of St. Charles Street and the Assiniboine River 0.24 ML Approx. 30 hours Blocked Sewer
Incident details and response
  • On February 14, 2019 at 12:06 PM, a resident called the City's 311 call center to report a sewer back up. At 4:08 PM, a maintenance crew inspected the City sewer and reported that there were no observed issues with our system.
  • At 8:09 PM, a second resident reported to 311 that they had hired a plumber to inspect their sewer service and the plumber believed the problem to be in the City's sewer.
  • A maintenance crew attended the site again on February 15, 2019 at 11 AM and observed that the City sewer was flowing, but that flow to the St. Charles Lift Station might be restricted. Further investigation found that wastewater was discharging from the land drainage outfall located at St Charles Street and the Assiniboine River.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit was dispatched and arrived on site at 1:30 PM. The wastewater sewer west of the St. Charles Lift Station on Sansome Avenue was cleaned and the discharge to the Assiniboine River stopped at 2:07 PM on February 15, 2019.
  • The overflow occurred at the high level overflow from the wastewater system to the land drainage system, located at the intersection of Gagnon Street and Sansome Avenue. This overflow is designed to protect local residences from sewer backup in the event of a failure at the St. Charles Lift Station.
  • As the blockage occurred upstream of the station, we did not get an alarm. Based on all of our information, we believe the overflow occurred between 8 AM on February 14 and 2:07 PM February 15. The total amount of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be approximately 0.24 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Conservation Accident Reporting line on Friday February 15, 2019.
Feb. 14 1100 mm Land Drainage Outfall located at the intersection of Moore Avenue and the Red River 0.004 ML Unknown Broken Sewer
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday February 14, 2019 at approximately 12 PM, a contractor performing a video inspection of the land drainage sewer on Parkville Drive informed the City that a residential sewer service was broken and that wastewater may be discharging into the land drainage sewer.
  • On Friday February 15, 2019 at 4:30 PM, the contractor provided the video to City personal for review. Even though the video evidence wasn't conclusive, it was decided that an immediate repair was required.
  • Emergency utility clearances were obtained on Saturday February 16, 2019 and excavation began on Sunday February 17, 2019. Excavation was difficult due to the presence of other utilities and frozen ground.
  • On Tuesday February 19, 2019, crews confirmed that the sewer service was discharging wastewater into the land drainage sewer and completed the repair.
  • The duration of the discharge is unknown. The amount of wastewater discharged into the land drainage sewer from the time an issue was first observed to the time the service was repaired is estimated to be 0.004 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting Line on Tuesday February 19, 2019.
Jan. 17 1350 mm Strathmillan Combined Sewer Outfall located at 2396 Portage Avenue 0.018 ML Approx. 6 minutes Power Failure
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 7:35 AM, our SCADA operator at the McPhillips Control Centre received an alarm from the Olive Lift Station indicating that a loss of power had occurred. A maintenance crew, equipped with a mobile generator, were dispatched immediately, arriving at the station at approximately 8:31 AM. While the crew was in transit, Manitoba Hydro restored power, returning the station to normal operation and stopping the discharge to the river at 8:26 AM river.
  • The loss of power resulted in the 600 mm interceptor sewer between Strathmillan Diversion Station and Olive Wastewater Lift Station becoming surcharged, overtopping the diversion weir and causing an overflow to the Strathmillan Combined Sewer Outfall.
  • After reviewing our instrumentation from this incident, we found that the overflow at the Strathmillan Combined Sewer Outfall lasted approximately 6 minutes between 8:22 AM and 8:28 AM.
  • The total volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River is estimated to be 0.018 ML.
  • The incident was reported to Manitoba Sustainable Development Accident Reporting line on Friday January 18, 2018.
Last updated: May 21, 2019