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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
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: March 26, 2020