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2021 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, 2021

What is being measured How it's measured Guideline or regulation Winnipeg average Winnipeg range
Miscellaneous
Carbon, Dissolved Organic parts per million no guideline 7.1 3.0 to 17.8
Carbon, Total Organic parts per million no guideline 4.9 0.7 to 17.8
Chlorine, Free parts per million no guideline 0.90 0.16 to 1.48
Chlorine, Total parts per million no guideline 1.12 0.38 to 1.70
Colour, Apparent TCU no guideline 3.2 0.0 to 5.0
Colour, True TCU no more than 15 * 0.8 0.0 to <5.0
Conductivity microsiemens per centimetre no guideline 302 279 to 347
Langelier Index (4 C) units no guideline -0.69 -0.81 to -0.54
Langelier Index (60 C) units no guideline 0.08 -0.04 to 0.23
Odour units inoffensive* 11 8 to 25
ORP millivolts no guideline 473.7 319.0 to 682.7
Oxygen, Dissolved parts per million no guideline 11.8 8.5 to 16.2
pH units between 7.0 and 10.5 7.45 7.03 to 7.91
Solids, Total Dissolved parts per million no more than 500 * 167 118 to 216
Temperature degrees Celcius no more than 15 * 12.0 1.7 to 24.7
Turbidity (clearness) NTU no guideline 0.20 <0.10 to 14.5
UV Transmittance, Filtered percent transmissivity no guideline 94.0 93.0 to 95.0
Anions and Nutrients
Alkalinity, Total parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 66.8 59.8 to 79.0
Alkalinity, Bicarbonate parts per million no guideline 81.6 73.0 to 95.4
Alkalinity, Carbonate parts per million no guideline <0.6 <0.6 to <0.6
Alkalinity, Hydroxide parts per million no guideline <0.34 <0.34 to <0.34
Hardness, Total parts per million as calcium carbonate no guideline 81.4 74.3 to 89.0
Ammonia parts per million no guideline 0.01 <0.01 to 0.02
Bromate parts per million no more than 0.01 <0.30 <0.30 to <0.60
Bromide parts per million no guideline <0.01 <0.01 to <0.01
Chloride parts per million no more than 250 * 4.9 4.0 to 6.0
Fluoride parts per million no more than 1.5 0.73 0.61 to 1.10
Nitrate Nitrogen parts per million no more than 10 0.016 0.006 to 0.035
Nitrite parts per million no more than 3 <0.001 <0.001 to <0.001
Perchlorate parts per billion no guideline <0.2 <0.2 to <0.2
Phosphate, Soluble parts per million as phosphate no guideline 2.04 0.44 to 8.52
Phosphorus,Total parts per million no guideline 0.657 0.605 to 0.683
Sulphate parts per million no more than 500 * 72.2 64.2 to 89.0
Bacteria
Escherichia Coli MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL 0 0 to 14
Total Coliforms MPN per 100 mL none detectable per 100 mL 0 0 to 14
Heterotrophic Plate Count CFU per mL no guideline 1 <1 to 172
Disinfection By-Products
Aldehydes parts per billion no guideline 18.0 11.2 to 44.6
Haloacetic acids parts per billion no more than 80 26.2 9.6 to 52.4
Trihalomethanes parts per billion no more than 100 41.5 11.6 to 66.6
Total Metals
Aluminum parts per million no guideline 0.00587 0.00305 to 0.03608
Antimony parts per million no more than 0.006 0.000058 <0.000025 to 0.000837
Arsenic parts per million no more than 0.010 0.000353 0.000115 to 0.000530
Barium parts per million no more than 2 0.0149 0.0140 to 0.0160
Beryllium parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001
Bismuth parts per million no guideline <0.00005 <0.00005 to <0.00005
Boron parts per million no more than 5 0.00492 <0.00208 to 0.2000
Cadmium parts per million no more than 0.007 <0.000005 <0.000005 to 0.000028
Calcium parts per million no guideline 21.127 18.555 to 25.543
Cesium parts per million no guideline <0.00001 <0.00001 to <0.00001
Chromium parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.00004 <0.00004 to 0.00036
Chromium VI parts per million no guideline <0.0005 <0.0005 to <0.0005
Cobalt parts per million no guideline 0.00117 0.00106 to 0.00127
Copper parts per million no more than 2.0 0.044926 <0.000022 to 0.226880
Iron parts per million no more than 0.3 * 0.06538 0.02194 to 0.46259
Lead parts per million no more than 0.005 <0.000066 <0.000040 to 0.000735
Lithium parts per million no guideline 0.0024 0.0020 to 0.0026
Magnesium parts per million no guideline 6.261 5.531 to 7.131
Manganese parts per million no more than 0.12 0.00897 0.00294 to 0.08261
Mercury parts per billion no more than 1 <0.0050 <0.00050 to <0.0089
Molybdenum parts per million no guideline <0.00005 <0.00005 to <0.00005
Nickel parts per million no guideline 0.002290 0.001126 to 0.007332
Potassium parts per million no guideline 1.240 1.032 to 1.684
Rubidium parts per million no guideline 0.0017 0.0014 to 0.0018
Selenium parts per million no more than 0.05 <0.00005 <0.00005 to <0.00005
Silicon parts per million no guideline 2.93 2.45 to 3.38
Silver parts per million no guideline <0.00001 <0.00001 to <0.00001
Sodium parts per million no more than 200 * 30.208 26.468 to 35.675
Strontium parts per million no more than 7 0.0403 0.0376 to 0.0441
Tellurium parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002
Thallium parts per million no guideline <0.00001 <0.00001 to <0.00001
Thorium parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001
Tin parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001
Titanium parts per million no guideline <0.0003 <0.0003 to <0.0003
Tungsten parts per million no guideline <0.0001 <0.0001 to <0.0001
Uranium parts per million no more than 0.02 0.000021 <0.000010 to 0.000250
Vanadium parts per million no guideline <0.0005 <0.0005 to <0.0005
Zinc parts per million no more than 5.0 * 0.00340 <0.00011 to 0.02490
Zirconium parts per million no guideline <0.0002 <0.0002 to <0.0002

* Aesthetic objective: These guidelines have an objective and not a maximum acceptable concentration. 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, September 2020

Results in red do not meet the guideline.

Data reported was collected from a combination of MacLean, Hurst, and McPhillips Pumping Station Discharges, 57 distribution system locations (39 distribution system locations January-March), 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 2,929  
Number of times that total coliform bacteria show up in a test none detectable per 100 mL 0.07%
(2 positive tests)
All resamples were negative and met the operating licence requirements.
Number of Escherichia coli bacteria tests in year 2028 samples/year 2,929  
Number of times that Escherichia coli bacteria show up in a test none detectable per 100 mL 0.03%
(1 positive test)
All resamples were negative and met the operating licence requirements.
Number of heterotrophic (bacteria) plate count (HPC) tests done no requirement 2,217 Heterotrophic plate count testing is not required under the operating licence

Requirements from City of Winnipeg Operating Licence PWS-09-412-02

Data reported was collected from 57 distribution system locations (39 distribution system locations January-March) and MacLean, Hurst, and McPhillips Pumping Station Discharges

Last updated: March 29, 2022

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