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2018 Shoal Lake water quality test results

Image of Shoal Lake inletOur staff test Shoal Lake and the intake at the west end of Indian Bay (where the water enters the aqueduct) as part of our routine water quality testing program.

For more information on Winnipeg's drinking water and our impact on Shoal Lake, visit the web page on Shoal Lake - Our Water Source.

Testing

We take samples at the intake every week during the open water season and every two weeks during the rest of the year. We also take samples from the Shoal Lake watershed from May to October. We test the intake samples for:

  • routine water chemistry
  • metals
  • disinfection by-products
  • bacteria and protozoa
  • pesticides, herbicides and PCBs

By taking these samples, we track seasonal changes in water quality and determine the effects (if any) of human activity within the Shoal Lake watershed.

Water entering the aqueduct intake passes through screens before being treated by chlorine on a periodic basis for slime and Zebra mussel control. The aqueduct brings water to Deacon Reservoir before entering the Water Treatment Plant. There, we test both the raw and treated water before the water is distributed to Winnipeg homes and businesses.

Test results are from January 1 to December 31, 2018

What is being measured How it's measured Guideline or regulation Shoal Lake average Shoal Lake range Comments
Miscellaneous
Carbon, Dissolved Organic parts per million no guideline 9.2 7.7 to 15.1 -
Carbon, Total Organic parts per million no guideline 9.3 7.6 to 16.3 -
Chlorophyll-a parts per billion no guideline 4 1 to 10 Chlorophyll is found in algae
Colour, True TCU no more than 15 * 9 5 to 13 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Conductivity microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 157 144 to 178 Another measure of dissolved solids
Odour  units inoffensive * 93 75 to 150 Raw water - guideline does not apply
pH  units between 7.0 and 10.5 8.11 7.47 to 8.84 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Plankton (algae) count  cells/mL no guideline 4,807 800 to 16,000 Algae contribute to odours and may cause filter clogging
Solids, Total parts per million no guideline 103 86 to 121 -
Solids, Total Dissolved parts per million no more than 500 * 86 58 to 120 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Solids, Total Suspended parts per million no guideline 3 <3 to 9 -
Temperature degrees Celcius no more than 15 * 10.7 1.2 to 25.0 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Turbidity (clearness) NTU no more than 0.3 in 95% of measurements/month, never to exceed 1.0 0.97 0.08 to 2.69 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Anions and Nutrients
Alkalinity, Total parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 75 69 to 84 -
Hardness, Total parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 77 70.3 to 87 -
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 * 2.5 0.6 to 4.8 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Fluoride parts per million no more than 1.5 0.11 0.09 to 0.12 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Nitrate Nitrogen parts per million no more than 10 0.034 <0.003 to 0.102 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Perchlorate parts per billion no guideline <0.2 <0.2 to <0.2 -
Phosphorus, Dissolved Reactive parts per million no guideline 0.003 <0.001 to 0.007 -
Phosphorus, Total parts per million no guideline 0.013 0.003 to 0.024 Phosphorus can contribute to algae growth
Sulphate parts per million no more than 500 * 0.7 0.4 to <2 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) parts per million no guideline 0.40 <0.20 to 0.64 TKN is a combination of ammonia and organic nitrogen
Bacteria
Escherichia Coli MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL <1 <1 to 3 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Total Coliforms MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL 92 <1 to >200 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Heterotrophic Plate Count CFU per mL no guideline 143 7 to >300 -
Disinfection By-Products
Aldehydes parts per billion no guideline 2.9 <0.5 to 6.3 -
Bromodichloromethane parts per billion no guideline <0.4 <0.4 to <0.4 -
Haloacetic acids parts per billion no more than 80 1.5 <1.1 to 5.0 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 <2.7 <2.7 to <3.0 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Enteric Protozoa
Cryptosporidium oocysts per 100 L no guideline <1 <1 to <1 12 samples taken in 2018
Giardia cysts per 100 L no guideline <1 <1 to <1 12 samples taken in 2018
Total Metals
Aluminum parts per million no guideline 0.0101 0.0012 to 0.0370 -
Antimony parts per million no more than 0.006 <0.0005 <0.000025 to <0.0005 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.010 0.0006 0.0006 to 0.0010 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Cadmium parts per million no more than 0.005 <0.0006 <0.000007 to <0.0006 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Calcium parts per million no guideline 20.7 18.7 to 24.0 Contributes to hardness
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.0006 <0.00004 to <0.0006 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Chromium VI parts per million no guideline <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001 -
Copper parts per million no more than 1.0 * 0.00058 <0.000022 to 0.00155 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Iron parts per million no more than 0.3 * 0.0287 0.0094 to 0.0569 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Lead parts per million no more than 0.010 <0.0006 <0.000065 to <0.0006 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 6.29 5.37 to 7.34 Contributes to hardness
Manganese parts per million no more than 0.05 * 0.0098 0.0028 to 0.0199 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Mercury parts per billion no more than 1 <0.0005 <0.0005 to 0.0005 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Nickel parts per million no guideline 0.00023 0.00012 to <0.00050 -
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.27 1.10 to 1.46 -
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 * 2.37 2.04 to 2.85 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Uranium parts per million no more than 0.02 <0.0006 <0.000032 to <0.0006 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 * 0.00094 0.00022 to 0.00383 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Pesticides
Alachlor parts per billion no guideline <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 -
Aldrin parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
alpha-BHC parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
alpha-Chlordane parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
alpha-Endosulfan parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Atrazine parts per billion no more than 5 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Azinphosmethyl parts per billion no more than 20 <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 Raw water - guideline does not apply
beta-BHC parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
beta-Endosulfan parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Carbaryl parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Carbofuran parts per billion no more than 90 <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Chlorothalonil parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Chlorpyrifos parts per billion no more than 90 <0.0050 <0.0050 to <0.0050 Raw water - guideline does not apply
delta-BHC parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Diazinon parts per billion no more than 20 <0.0050 <0.0050 to <0.0050 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Diclofop-methyl parts per billion no more than 9 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Dieldrin parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Dimethoate parts per billion no more than 20 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Endrin parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Eptam parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
gamma-Chlordane parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Heptachlor parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Heptachlor Epoxide parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Lindane (gamma-BHC) parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Malathion parts per billion no more than 190 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Methoxychlor parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Methyl Parathion parts per billion no guideline <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 -
Metribuzin parts per billion no more than 80 <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Mirex parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
o,p-DDD parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
o,p-DDE parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
o,p-DDT parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
p,p-DDD parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
p,p-DDE parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
p,p-DDT parts per billion no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Parathion parts per billion no guideline <0.013 <0.013 to <0.013 -
Propaclor parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Propanil parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Propoxur parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 -
Simazine parts per billion no more than 10 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Terbufos parts per billion no more than 1 <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Triallate parts per billion no guideline <0.10 <0.10 to <0.10 -
Trichlopyr parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Trifluralin parts per billion no more than 45 <0.030 <0.030 to <0.030 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Polychlorinated Biphenyls
Arochlor 1016 parts per billion no guideline <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 -
Arochlor 1221 parts per billion no guideline <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 -
Arochlor 1232 parts per billion no guideline <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 -
Arochlor 1242 parts per billion no guideline <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 -
Arochlor 1248 parts per billion no guideline <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 -
Arochlor 1254 parts per billion no guideline <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 -
Arochlor 1260 parts per billion no guideline <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 -
Phenoxy Acid Herbicides
2,4,5-T parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
2,4,5-TP parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
2,4-D parts per billion no more than 100 <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 Raw water - guideline does not apply
2,4-DB parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
2,4-DP parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Bromoxynil parts per billion no more than 5 <0.020 <0.020 to <0.020 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Dicamba parts per billion no more than 120 <0.0060 <0.0060 to <0.0120 Raw water - guideline does not apply
Dinoseb parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
MCPA parts per billion no more than 100 <0.025 <0.025 to <0.025 Raw water - guideline does not apply
MCPB parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Mecoprop parts per billion no guideline <0.050 <0.050 to <0.050 -
Picloram parts per billion no more than 190 <0.20 <0.20 to <0.20 Raw water - guideline does not apply

Note: Where value is expressed as less than (<), the value is halved and used in the calculations, where value is expressed as (>), the value is used in the calculations.

* Aesthetic objective: These guidelines have an objective and not a maximum acceptable limit. These parameters should not impact the safety of the water to drink and there is no anticipated health risk for short-term exposures.

Guidelines from 'Summary of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality' by Health Canada, February 2017

Last updated: April 3, 2019