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2020 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, 2020

What is being measured How it's measured Guideline or regulation Winnipeg average Winnipeg range
Miscellaneous
Carbon, Dissolved Organic parts per million no guideline 5.6 2.7 to 12.9
Carbon, Total Organic parts per million no guideline 4.4 1.9 to 13.5
Chlorine, Free parts per million no guideline 0.82 0.1 to 1.47
Chlorine, Total parts per million no guideline 1.03 0.19 to 1.67
Colour, Apparent TCU no guideline 3 0.5 to 6
Colour, True TCU no more than 15 * 0.5 0 to 2
Conductivity microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 302 209 to 335
Langelier Index (4 C) units no guideline -0.74 -0.86 to -0.57
Langelier Index (60 C) units no guideline 0.03 -0.09 to 0.2
Odour units inoffensive* 10 8 to 15
ORP millivolts no guideline 543.1 332.4 to 677.8
Oxygen, Dissolved parts per million no guideline 12 6.4 to 16.8
pH units between 7.0 and 10.5 7.45 7.24 to 7.81
Solids, Total Dissolved parts per million no more than 500 * 160 120 to 191
Temperature degrees Celcius no more than 15 * 10.3 1.7 to 24.7
Turbidity (clearness) NTU no guideline 0.19 0.08 to 4.6
UV Transmittance, Filtered percent transmissivity no guideline 94 94 to 95
Anions and Nutrients
Alkalinity, Total parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 65.7 58.3 to 76.6
Alkalinity, Bicarbonate parts per million no guideline 82.7 78.2 to 93.5
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 80.5 70.3 to 89.1
Ammonia parts per million no guideline 0.01 <0.01 to 0.02
Bromate parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.01 <0.0006 to <0.01
Bromide parts per million no guideline <0.01 <0.01 to <0.01
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 * 4.6 3.7 to 6.1
Fluoride parts per million no more than 1.5 0.71 0.62 to 0.84
Nitrate Nitrogen parts per million no more than 10 0.023 0.008 to 0.039
Nitrite parts per million no more than 3 <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001
Perchlorate parts per billion no guideline <0.20 <0.20 to 0.34
Phosphate, Soluble parts per million as phosphate no guideline 1.99 0.38 to 2.41
Phosphorus,Total parts per million no guideline 0.69 0.638 to 0.752
Sulphate parts per million no more than 500 * 67.8 59.2 to 79.2
Bacteria
Escherichia Coli MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL 0 0 to 0
Total Coliforms MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL 0 0 to >200**
Heterotrophic Plate Count CFU per mL no guideline 2 <1 to >300
Disinfection By-Products
Aldehydes parts per billion no guideline 17.8 9.9 to 34.3
Haloacetic acids parts per billion no more than 80 25.7 8.5 to 41.2
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 36.7 12.5 to 78.9
Total Metals
Aluminum parts per million no guideline 0.00547 0.0026 to 0.08883
Antimony parts per million no more than 0.006 0.000084 <0.000025 to 0.000952
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.010 0.000405 0.0002 to 0.00063
Barium parts per million no more than 2 0.015 0.0137 to 0.0166
Beryllium parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010
Bismuth parts per million no guideline <0.000050 <0.000050 to <0.000050
Boron parts per million no more than 5 0.00501 <0.00208 to 0.015
Cadmium parts per million no more than 0.007 <0.000007 <0.000007 to 0.000016
Calcium parts per million no guideline 21.46 17.521 to 26.162
Cesium parts per million no guideline <0.000010 <0.000010 to <0.000010
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 0.00008 <0.00004 to 0.0028
Chromium VI parts per million no guideline <0.00050 <0.00050 to <0.00050
Cobalt parts per million no guideline 0.00133 0.00091 to 0.00171
Copper parts per million no more than 2.0 0.042819 0.000113 to 0.20012
Iron parts per million no more than 0.3 * 0.07743 0.02435 to 1.0081
Lead parts per million no more than 0.005 <0.000065 <0.000065 to 0.001713
Lithium parts per million no guideline 0.0024 0.0022 to 0.0026
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 6.336 5.044 to 7.59
Manganese parts per million no more than 0.12 0.00902 0.00362 to 0.07394
Mercury parts per billion no more than 1 <0.0050 <0.00050 to <0.0050
Molybdenum parts per million no guideline <0.000050 <0.000050 to <0.000050
Nickel parts per million no guideline 0.002403 0.001513 to 0.008346
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.28 1.033 to 1.692
Rubidium parts per million no guideline 0.0016 0.0015 to 0.0018
Selenium parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.000050 <0.000050 to <0.000050
Silicon parts per million no guideline 2.99 2.32 to 3.45
Silver parts per million no guideline <0.000010 <0.000010 to <0.000010
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 * 29.589 24.443 to 35.746
Strontium parts per million no more than 7 0.0395 0.0372 to 0.0435
Tellurium parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020
Thallium parts per million no guideline <0.000010 <0.000010 to <0.000010
Thorium parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010
Tin parts per million no guideline 0.00011 <0.00010 to 0.00027
Titanium parts per million no guideline <0.00030 <0.00030 to <0.00030
Tungsten parts per million no guideline <0.00010 <0.00010 to <0.00010
Uranium parts per million no more than 0.02 <0.000032 <0.000032 to 0.000079
Vanadium parts per million no guideline <0.00050 <0.00050 to <0.00050
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 * 0.00378 <0.00011 to 0.02674
Zirconium parts per million no guideline <0.00020 <0.00020 to <0.00020

* 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.

** All resamples were negative and met the operating licence requirements

Guidelines from 'Summary of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality' by Health Canada, September 2020

Results in red are over acceptable limits per guideline.

Data reported was collected from a combination of MacLean, Hurst, and McPhillips Pumping Station Discharges, 57 distribution system locations (39 distribution system locations April-December), and/or Branch I at McPhillips and Branch II at Hurst.

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

Bacterial testing

What is being measured Requirement Our test results Comments
Number of total coliform bacteria tests in year 2028 samples/year 2,443  
Number of times that total coliform bacteria show up in a test none detectable per 100 mL 0.29%
(7 positive tests)
All resamples were negative and met the operating licence requirements
Number of Escherichia coli bacteria tests in year 2028 samples/year 2,443  
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 2,225 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 (39 distribution system locations April-December) and MacLean, Hurst, and McPhillips Pumping Station Discharges

Last updated: April 15, 2021

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