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Residents in Southwest Winnipeg Advised to Limit Water Usage

February 20, 2024 4:43 PM | News

Tap Water

The City of Winnipeg is asking residents living in the southwest area of the city to temporarily limit their water usage.

The request comes as the city continues to deal with an ongoing sewage leak into the Red River under the Fort Garry Bridge, which began on February 5.

A second pipe broke on February 7, causing another leak of untreated sewage. Crews have been working to build a bypass system at the bridge using two pumps.

“Our crews and contractors have been working tirelessly to address the leak, and get a more stable bypass system in place,” said Tim Shanks, director of the Water and Waste Department.

“Under normal circumstances, the work involved in building a bypass system of this type is very challenging and would take upwards of five weeks. But we’ve been considerably expediting efforts to stop the leak.”

The pipes, built in 1970, direct sewage from the southwest part of Winnipeg to the South End Sewage Treatment Plant.

The bypass system has been running since February 17, but the bypass is not fully complete yet. Two pumps are needed to handle all of the flow in the sewer; however, one of the pumps is undergoing tests off-site to resolve mechanical issues discovered last week.

It’s anticipated that the second pump will be operational by the end of the week.

Until that time, the city is asking residents and businesses in the areas of St. Norbert, Fort Richmond, Richmond West, Waverley West, Bridgwater, Linden Woods, Linden Ridge, Whyte Ridge, Waverley Heights and the University of Manitoba to take the following steps to reduce water use:

  • Use cottage rules for flushing (only flush the toilet when necessary)
  • Enjoy shorter showers and avoid bathtub use
  • Run only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Delay washing cars
  • Turn off the water when you shave or brush your teeth

“By taking these steps, it will help reduce the amount of sewage that flows into the river while repairs are ongoing,” said Shanks. “There is no risk of drinking water contamination due to this sewer issue, and our community can continue to rely on safe drinking water.”

Until repairs are fully made, motorists may want to take another route if they frequently use Bishop Grandin Boulevard. One eastbound lane remains closed from the Pembina Highway exit to River Road.

Daily untreated sewage spill amounts are being reported on the city’s website.

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