Sewage spill into Assiniboine to end Saturday

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The City of Winnipeg now expects to end a multi-day sewage spill on Saturday, which has already dumped at least 52 million litres of diluted wastewater into local waterways.

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The City of Winnipeg now expects to end a multi-day sewage spill on Saturday, which has already dumped at least 52 million litres of diluted wastewater into local waterways.

Mayor Brian Bowman told media the incident is under review, with further details expected to be made public.

“(I) anticipate that we’ll hear from a review that is taking place right now of what went wrong,” said Bowman.

More than 52 million litres of sewage has now spilled into the Assiniboine River due to a pipe repair, which the city appears to be having trouble fixing. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files)

The city began diverting a mix of wastewater and snow melt into the Assiniboine River on March 16 when a temporary sewage pump – in place while the city replaces a Portage Avenue interceptor sewer pipe – was unable to keep up with the flow.

That led to the release, which the city said was needed to prevent sewage from backing up in basements and the construction site.

The sewage release was expected to end Thursday, though the city has since revised that date to Saturday. Officials noted the review is standard practice, with each construction project examined after it wraps up.

The mayor noted the city is pursuing a few expensive projects to better prevent sewage from entering rivers, through the pursuit of a $1.8-billion upgrade to the sewage treatment plant in the northern part of the city and a $2.3-billion plan to reduce combined sewer overflows.

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca

Joyanne Pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga
Reporter

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.

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Updated on Friday, March 25, 2022 7:02 AM CDT: Amends cutline

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