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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.

2021

Date Location Estimated
amount
Estimated
duration
Cause
Apr. 8 2100 mm combined sewer outfall located at 242 Metcalfe Avenue 0.054 ML Approx. 1 hour and 16 minutes Sewer cleaning
Incident details and response
  • On April 8, 2021 at 10:04 a.m., our Wastewater Control Centre received a high wet well alarm from the Metcalfe Lift Station. The alarm was the result of sewer cleaning work by a private contractor immediately upstream of the Metcalfe overflow weir. The contractor was hired by the City to perform sewer rehabilitation work, which was being managed by an external consultant.
  • A maintenance crew was dispatched and arrived on site at 10:45 a.m. Upon arrival, the crew immediately closed the outfall gate and 10:50 a.m. The slide gate was re-opened at 11:15 a.m. and the high wet well alarm was cleared at 11:35 a.m.
  • After the incident, SCADA data for the lift station was reviewed and it indicated that the overflow started at 9:33 a.m. The City also reviewed notification protocols for this kind of work to ensure that Wastewater Operations is notified prior to any future projects of this nature.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River is 0.054 ML.
  • The incidents were reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Mar. 26 300 mm wastewater sewer outfall located at 25 Avenue De La Digue 0.024 ML Approx. 1 hour and 31 minutes Power failure
Incident details and response
  • On Friday, March 26, at 7:51 a.m., our Wastewater Control Center received a power fail alarm from the St. Norbert Lift Station. A maintenance crew with a mobile power generator was dispatched immediately and arrived on site at 9:10 a.m. At 9:12 a.m., Manitoba Hydro power was restored and the station’s pumps returned to normal operation. At 9:20 a.m., the crew checked the outfall and noticed discharge occurring. At 9:22 a.m., the high wet well alarm cleared and the station resumed normal operation.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Red River as a result of this incident is 0.024 ML.
  • The incident was reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Friday, March 26, 2021.
Feb. 18 900 mm land drainage outfall located at the intersection of St. Charles Street and the Assiniboine River 0.015 ML Approx. 2 hours and 47 minutes Blockage
Incident details and response
  • On Thursday, February 18 at 3:48 p.m., a maintenance crew responded to service call reporting a high sewer level at 435 Sansome Avenue. The crew confirmed sewer level at the location was high, however no overflow was occurring at this time. It was determined the high sewer level was caused by a blockage downstream of the Sansome Avenue and Gagnon Street intersection.
  • A vacuum cleaning unit was called in and arrived on site at 7:46 p.m. to clear the blockage. The cleaning crew observed wastewater entering the high-level overflow pipe and into the land drainage sewer, located at the intersection of Gagnon Street and Sansome Avenue, which eventually flows to the Assiniboine River. The vacuum cleaning unit immediately began cleaning the wastewater sewer containing the blockage and the overflow was stopped at 8:17 p.m.
  • Although flow was observed entering the land drainage sewer on Thursday evening, it wasn’t until the following morning that a discharge into the Assiniboine River was confirmed.
  • Wastewater Services will continue to investigate the circumstances of this overflow and will make any required operational modifications to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
  • The estimated volume of wastewater discharged to the Assiniboine River, from the time of discovery to when the blockage was cleared, is 0.015 ML.
  • The incidents were reported to the Manitoba Conservation and Climate Accident Reporting line on Friday, February 19, 2021.
Last updated: April 12, 2021

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