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2018 Winnipeg distribution system water quality test results

Image of water running out of a tapThe Winnipeg distribution system is the last location where we add chlorine to the water - at the outlet from each of the three pumping stations. The other locations are at the Shoal Lake intake on a periodic basis and at the Water Treatment Plant.

Our Operating Licence requires that we maintain a minimum free chlorine residual of 0.1 milligrams per litre throughout the distribution system.

Testing

Winnipeg water is intensively monitored on a routine basis at Shoal Lake, before it enters the Water Treatment Plant and after the water has passed through the treatment processes to ensure that the water is safe and that regulatory requirements are met. Because water quality is so important, our level of monitoring and sampling exceeds Provincial regulatory requirements.

  • Equipment is used to continuously monitor chlorine levels at the pumping stations and we test the chlorine levels at 60 locations throughout the distribution system on a weekly basis.
  • Microbiological samples are taken weekly at 60 locations throughout the distribution system. Tests are conducted for Escherichia coli and total coliform bacteria according to Provincial regulations, and we also test for Heterotrophic plate count which is not required under Provincial regulations, but can be useful to identify potential problem areas within the distribution system.

We also test Winnipeg distribution system water for:

  • routine water chemistry
  • metals
  • disinfection by-products

We use these test results to monitor water quality changes within the distribution system and the quality of water delivered to customers. We also respond to customer inquiries and complaints about water quality. Contact us for more information.

Test results are from January 1 to December 31, 2018

What is being measured How it's measured Guideline or regulation Winnipeg average Winnipeg range Comments
Miscellaneous
Carbon, Dissolved Organic parts per million no guideline 4.2 2.6 to 8.8 -
Carbon, Total Organic parts per million no guideline 4.4 1.8 to 13.4 -
Chlorine, Free parts per million no guideline 0.81 <0.02 to 1.56 -
Chlorine, Total parts per million no guideline 1.04 0.17 to 1.84 -
Colour, True TCU no more than 15 * 0.9 0.5 to 5.0 Meets the guideline
Conductivity microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 304 249 to 335 Another measure of dissolved solids
Langelier Index (4 C) units no guideline -0.81 -0.94 to -0.66 -
Langelier Index (60 C) units no guideline -0.04 -0.17 to 0.11 -
Odour units inoffensive* 10 5 to 15 Meets the guideline
ORP millivolts no guideline 463 216 to 595 -
Oxygen, Dissolved parts per million no guideline 12.9 4.6 to 16.8 -
pH units between 7.0 and 10.5 7.52 7.33 to 7.86 Meets the guideline
Solids, Total Dissolved parts per million no more than 500 * 164 123 to 208 Meets the guideline
Temperature degrees Celcius no more than 15 * 10.3 0.3 to 24.6 Does not always meet the guidline
Turbidity (clearness) NTU no guideline 0.24 0.01 to 6.0 -
UV Transmittance, Unfiltered percent transmissivity no guideline 93.7 91.6 to 95.9 -
Anions and Nutrients
Alkalinity, Total parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 67 56 to 78 -
Alkalinity, Bicarbonate parts per million no guideline 88 76 to 93 -
Alkalinity, Carbonate parts per million no guideline <0.60 <0.60 to <0.60 -
Alkalinity, Hydroxide parts per million no guideline <0.34 <0.34 to <0.34 -
Hardness, Total parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 82 76 to 90 -
Ammonia parts per million no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.013 -
Bromate parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.050 <0.010 to <0.050 Detection limit above guideline (not detected)
Bromide parts per million no guideline <0.010 <0.010 to <0.010 -
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 * 22 4 to 36 Meets the guideline
Fluoride parts per million no more than 1.5 0.69 0.53 to 0.76 Meets the guideline
Nitrate Nitrogen parts per million no more than 10 0.0203 0.0089 to 0.0479 Meets the guideline
Nitrite parts per million no more than 3 <0.0010 <0.0010 to <0.0010 Meets the guideline
Perchlorate parts per billion no guideline <0.2 <0.2 to <0.2 -
Phosphate, Soluble parts per million as phosphate no guideline 1.80 0.05 to 2.15 Added for Lead Control Program
Phosphorus,Total parts per million no guideline 0.63 0.38 to 0.75 Phosphorus can contribute to algae growth
Sulphate parts per million no more than 500 * 50 31 to 75 Meets the guideline
Bacteria
Escherichia Coli MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL <1 <1 to <1 Meets the guideline
Total Coliforms MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL <1 <1 to 2 Does not always meet the guideline
Heterotrophic Plate Count CFU per mL no guideline 2 <1 to 97 -
Disinfection By-Products
Aldehydes parts per billion no guideline 19.3 7.8 to 32.5 -
Bromodichloromethane parts per billion no guideline 3.0 1.0 to 5.3 -
Haloacetic acids parts per billion no more than 80 22 6 to 42 Meets the guideline
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 31 9 to 58 Meets the guideline
Total Metals
Aluminum parts per million no guideline 0.0096 0.0027 to 0.0860 -
Antimony parts per million no more than 0.006 <0.00050 <0.000025 to <0.00050 Meets the guideline
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.010 0.0005 0.0004 to <0.0010 Meets the guideline
Barium parts per million no more than 1 0.0151 0.0126 to 0.0201 Meets the guideline
Beryllium parts per million no guideline <0.00003 <0.00003 to <0.00010 -
Bismuth parts per million no guideline <0.000050 <0.000050 to <0.000050 -
Boron parts per million no more than 5 0.0034 <0.00208 to 0.0150 Meets the guideline
Cadmium parts per million no more than 0.005 <0.00060 <0.000005 to <0.00060 Meets the guideline
Calcium parts per million no guideline 22.5 19.3 to 26.7 Contributes to hardness
Cesium parts per million no guideline <0.000010 <0.000010 to <0.000010 -
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 0.00025 <0.00004 to 0.01210 Meets the guideline
Chromium VI parts per million no guideline <0.001 <0.001 to 0.001 -
Cobalt parts per million no guideline 0.00033 0.00001 to 0.00114 -
Copper parts per million no more than 1.0 * 0.03661 0.00059 to 0.19844 Meets the guideline
Iron parts per million no more than 0.3 * 0.057 0.004 to 0.930 Does not always meet the guideline
Lead parts per million no more than 0.010 0.00017 <0.00005 to 0.00180 Meets the guideline
Lithium parts per million no guideline 0.0020 0.0016 to 0.0028 -
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 6.62 5.55 to 7.69 Contributes to hardness
Manganese parts per million no more than 0.05 * 0.0234 0.0036 to 0.2760 Does not always meet the guideline
Mercury parts per billion no more than 1 0.0005 <0.0005 to 0.0023 Meets the guideline
Molybdenum parts per million no guideline <0.00002 <0.00002 to 0.00010 -
Nickel parts per million no guideline 0.0023 0.0012 to 0.0298 -
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.29 0.99 to 1.51 -
Rubidium parts per million no guideline 0.00163 0.00150 to 0.00178 -
Selenium parts per million no more than 0.05 0.00013 0.00002 to 0.00038 Meets the guideline
Silicon parts per million no guideline 3.13 2.75 to 3.35 -
Silver parts per million no guideline <0.000010 <0.000010 to <0.000010 -
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 * 32.8 28.5 to 38.6 Meets the guideline
Strontium parts per million no guideline 0.0397 0.0350 to 0.0464 -
Tellurium parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020 -
Thallium parts per million no guideline <0.000010 <0.000010 to <0.000016 -
Thorium parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010 -
Tin parts per million no guideline 0.000019 <0.000025 to 0.000130 -
Titanium parts per million no guideline 0.000078 <0.000012 to 0.000420 -
Tungsten parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010 -
Uranium parts per million no more than 0.02 <0.00060 <0.00001 to <0.00060 Meets the guideline
Vanadium parts per million no guideline <0.00050 <0.000011 to <0.00050 -
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 * 0.00441 0.00028 to 0.0553 Meets the guideline
Zirconium parts per million no guideline <0.000060 <0.000060 to <0.000060 -

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

Data reported was collected from a combination of MacLean, Hurst, and McPhillips Pumping Station Discharges, 57 distribution system locations, and/or Branch I at McPhillips and Branch II at Hurst.

Bacterial testing

What is being measured Requirement Our test results Comments
Number of total coliform bacteria tests in year 2028 samples/year 3,164  
Number of times that total coliform bacteria show up in a test none detectable per 100 mL 0.22%
(7 positive tests)
All resamples were negative and met the operating licence requirements
Number of Escherichia coli bacteria tests in year 2028 samples/year 3,164  
Number of times that Escherichia coli bacteria show up in a test none detectable per 100 mL 0.00%
(0 positive tests)
 
Number of heterotrophic (bacteria) plate count (HPC) tests done no requirement 2,218 Heterotrophic plate count testing is not required under the operating licence

Requirements from City of Winnipeg Operating Licence PWS-09-412-01

Data reported was collected from 57 distribution system locations and MacLean, Hurst, and McPhillips Pumping Station Discharges

Last updated: July 22, 2019