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Sewage spill on Red

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This is what I was able to find so far.

Raw sewage dumped into Red River

~Canadian Press~

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

A huge flow of raw sewage has been released into the Red River after an accident at a treatment plant in Winnipeg.

A problem with a valve caused the sewage leak and city crews are working around the clock to correct the problem.

The sewage started flowing into the river late Monday afternoon.

But city officials say it could take a week to fix the leak.

Until then, up to 230,000 cubic metres of raw sewage will be flowing into the river each day.

Biologists fear the sewage may hurt fish and aquatic life from the Red River to the north end of Lake Winnipeg.

But Winnipeg director of the city's water and waste department, said a high flow upstream will help dilute the sewage.

No communities downstream of Winnipeg get their drinking water from the Red River.


They better get a plug in it soon and not let it pump crap into the system for a whole **** week!

Backwater Eddy..><,sUMo,>

Backwater Guiding
"Ed on the RED"

[email protected]


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Yup this one is for real and It's really not something new. It appears that the oldest and the largest of the three treatment facilities (at the north end of Winnipeg) is the culprit. I'm not overly surprised as I've seen the discharge area on the Red from the plant (just past Kildonan park and the old railroad bridge) releasing white foamy water every year. You can spot when this happens as the Gulls gather at the spot.

We've been told over the years that the city's plants only disharge water that is safe and non harmful to the environment. Yes the treatment plants do discharge cleaner water but as everyone in Winnipeg knows.... when it rains a good portion of the city's sewage ends up in the Red anyways......... this is really nothing new --- I know I'm sounding a bit cynical now!

Fish will survive and yes we are being told (as per usual) that fish will be edible if prepared with care. As always, health officer Margaret Fast warns: drinking and swimming in the Red isn't recommended.....

It's really sad but it's a fact of life up here on the lower Red.

I thought you folks might be interested in what they're saying about it in Winnipeg.....


It's a filthy shame ...
Antiquated wastewater system constant polluter

Winnipeggers should be far more concerned with the oceans of raw sewage the city quietly dumps into our rivers every year than they are with the accidental discharge we're seeing in the North End this week.

Obviously, it's appalling that 230,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage is spewing daily into the Red River because of a faulty valve at a wastewater treatment plant.

But it's an accident -- an unforeseen event that will probably be corrected within a week. And more than likely, steps will be taken to reduce the chances of if happening again.

What's more dreadful than this environmental accident, though, is the fact Winnipeg continues to dump raw sewage into its rivers on a regular basis, with little or no public outcry.

That's because about 40% of Winnipeg still has a wastewater system that, when it rains heavily, causes raw sewage to drain into both the Assiniboine and Red rivers.

On average, that happens about 18 times a year, according to the city's water and waste department.

Heavy downpour

Think of it. Every time we get a heavy downpour -- and we've had more than our share this summer -- 40% of Winnipeg's sewage drains directly into our two major rivers.

Can you imagine the environmental damage this is causing to our rivers and to Lake Winnipeg?

It's not a new phenomenon. Sewage systems were built that way until the late 1950s. Newer developments in Winnipeg have separate sewage systems that prevent this from happening.

But in central Winnipeg, including parts of the North End, St. Boniface and River Heights, sewage and rainwater drain through the same pipes.

Normally, sewage is diverted to a treatment plant before it hits the rivers. But when it rains, the volumes are too great to be diverted and both the sewage and rainwater drain into the rivers.

This happens at about 75 overflows located along the Red and Assiniboine.

There's been a whole whack of studies and computer models done on this problem over the years. But nothing's ever come of it.

As it stands, there are no plans to fix the problem, just more public hearings scheduled for later this year.

We had public hearings on this problem 10 years ago.

The reason it's being ignored is because fixing the problem would cost a fortune and politicians don't want to talk about it.

Estimates to fix or alleviate the problem range between $300 million and $1.5 billion.

What galls me is that Winnipeg homeowners already pay a frontage levy that's supposed to be used exclusively for sewer and water renewal.

But for the first time this year, Mayor Glen Murray -- with the approval of the Doer government -- is robbing that fund and using part of it for general revenues.

That money should be set aside to help alleviate Winnipeg's sewage problems. It shouldn't be used for Murray's re-election slush fund.


Sewage Still Flowing Into the Red
There could be some damage to aquatic life in the Red River, as raw sewage continues to flow from Winnipeg's North End Water Pollution Control Centre.

Manitoba Conservation Water Quality Management Branch is taking samples from the river along with officials from the City.
It could be another six days however, before the flow is stopped, and until then, 230-thousand cubic meters of raw sewage will continue to flood the river daily.

The sewage is expected to deprive aquatic life of oxygen and the organic loading could hurt some plant life, though fish are expected to be alright.

It was Monday when a broken valve caused a pump room to flood at the control centre, and within hours the sewage was in the river.
City officials insist the sewage poses no serious health risks to people since there are no communities using the river for drinking water.


Sewage spews into Red River
Faulty valve the culprit

City officials are searching for a solution to a spewing sewage situation that's left residents living downstream on the Red River holding their noses.

Monday's mechanical breakdown at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre created a serious stink for riverbank homeowners living near outflow pipes where raw sewage is entering the river.

Many rural officials who were left in the dark while the sludge started moving their way are outraged.

"That's horrible," St. Andrews Reeve Don Forfar said yesterday of the waste now pouring daily into the Red. "If it weren't for the media, that stuff would have been flushed down our way and we wouldn't have known."

Water and waste officials spent yesterday trying to let the public in on the dirty details of Monday's plant breakdown -- the first of its kind here in 37 years.


A faulty valve at the north Main Street complex turned routine pump maintenance into a rush of incoming sewage and a workplace emergency.

After a scuba diver and crews regained control and pumped out the mess, Manitoba Conservation set about monitoring the quality of river water.

The natural flow of the Red will be joined daily by more than 230,000 cubic metres of untreated waste, until at least the weekend.

"We'll have to do a fair bit of questioning and assessing, not only this plant," said waste director Barry MacBride, "but our other two plants, for any kind of catastrophic failure that could put us out of business like this."

Until the six pumps are dismantled and thoroughly cleaned, the flushes of almost half of Winnipeg will head straight to the Red.

Health and environmental officials insist there's no need for residents to panic -- particularly since high, fast-moving water quickly dilutes the sewage, which yesterday was clearly visible, as it drains into the murky water.

Provincial water quality manager Dwight Williamson said "special daily monitoring" from the Provencher Bridge to the mouth of Lake Winnipeg is going ahead.

The area's fish can be eaten, most officials said, adding gloves and routine cleaning before filleting and preparing are a must.

As always, said health officer Margaret Fast, drinking and swimming in the Red isn't recommended.

But no one will have to tell Dan Wasylkiw, who lives on the river's bank, to avoid diving into the odour.

"It gets a little upsetting when it gets into your home," he said. "That's a tough one. But we'll manage. There's a lot worse that could happen."

Dan Kiazyk
Cat Eye Outfitter
[email protected]

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Thursday September 19, 2002
07:28:52 PM

Latest on the trials and tibulations of the Red!

As of approximately 5:00 am this morning, they stopped the flow of sewage from entering into the Red. ( Prayers answered)! Lets see what type of penalty will be handed out too the city for this outrageous and incompetent act! I only hope that the powers too be act in the best interest of this incrible resource. There has too be a strong,clear message sent that this type of negligence will not and cannot be tolerated. No exceptions please!

On a more positive note: (fishing update) Fished for 'eyes late this afternoon from 5:30 til 7:50 pm. There were two of us and together we managed eight walleye, twelve sauger and three large kitties. All fish were taken on 3/8 oz. orange jigs tipped with a salty. We fished just north of channel marker 38. Depth was twelve feet. In a nutshell, the event that has just taken place hasn't seemed to have any negative effect, (thus far)!

Another foot note: The cats are absolutely nuts! I mean they are spanking any kind of quality cutbait such as goldeye or tulibee. We're finding them in shallow aswell as deep water. One angler claims to have caught seventeen cats on corks near the eastside rock pile below the dam. He claims that he was only there less than an hour before his bait (goldeye) was depleted.

Til next time,

Stu McKay


Howdy Stu

Great news on the spill being stopped Stu!

Lets hope they lean from this and get the system set so no more leaks EVER happen again.

The Red is a tough girl, she will outlive us all, if we treat her well.

Eh...by the way Stu...the cats are going nuts here too.

Been fun working jigs and frogs, they "THUMP" them hard like a hungry pike.

It is fun watching the cats at night chase the frogs and jigs right up onto the shore to hit them, like teasing a cat with a ball of yarn....EH.


God I love fall!

See ya soon.

Ed Carlson

Backwater Eddy..><,sUMo,>

Backwater Guiding
"Ed on the RED"

[email protected]


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I live up by edgewood golf course in Fargo. and drive north broadway every day to work. this morning I noticed alot of white foam flowing down the river all starting at the water treatment plant. I read someone said this is caused from waist, is this true, or could it be from something else.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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    • Bobberwatcher
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