The drainage from the city sewer system into the Winnipeg rivers is increasingly attracting public attention.
Last month, the rivers received more than 3.2 million liters of untreated water from urban sewerage. This was one of the largest outflows in recent years, and only about 20 such incidents occur in a year. This problem is closely related to Winnipeg's outdated infrastructure.
The city is currently developing a project to change the sewage system for 27 years. According to preliminary calculations, the replacement of all pipes will cost the city about $4 billion, so now all possible measures are considered to reduce costs. The city authorities want to spend slightly more than one billion dollars on modernization.
The main problem is that the Winnipeg sewer system was developed decades ago and is a combined type. This means that untreated sewage water enters the pipes and simultaneously the water from the rain and melting snow gets there. Further all this water follows to the treatment facilities, but in times of heavy rainfall or melting of snow, the system does not stand up and dirty untreated water gets into the rivers.
Brian Mayes, Head of the Committee on Water and Waste, hopes to improve the urban drainage system to reduce the load on the sewage system during downpours. He also noted that the problems of sewage did not attract public attention so often, as, for example, the problems of roads and crime in the city, but recently it has become a very important issue.
The Lake Winnipeg Foundation highlights one more important problem of Winnipeg rivers. This is getting phosphorus into them, which reduces the production of oxygen and promotes the appearance of algae.