The estimated hike in water-and-sewer tariffs by 4.7% was to increase the average household bill by $61 a year, but the executive police committee decided to postpone it.
The City of Winnipeg uses a combined sewer system, which collects rainwater, snowmelt and wastewater from homes and businesses, all in the same pipe. It then takes it to the treatment plan and then releases it into the river.
But when there’s heavy rainfall or snowmelts, the sewers are overloaded and the untreated content overflows into the river.
In 2018, 8.65 billion litres of combined sewage overflowed into the rivers, up from 6.6 billion litres in 2017. The data also shows that last year there were a total of 1,353 combined sewer overflows.
According to the city’s report, sewer overflow fluctuates from year to year, based on factors such as the amount, intensity, frequency, location and duration of rainfall, as well as river levels.
The City is continually reviewing its flood protection measures, including monitoring river levels and control over the sewage water.