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Pipe leak causes spill of over 135M litres of sewage into Red River

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A major pipe leak is the cause of a sewage spill into the Red River at the Fort Garry Bridge.

According to the City of Winnipeg, about 135.2 million litres of untreated sewage leaked from 9 a.m. on Feb. 7 to midnight on Feb. 13.

The city notes that this spill is linked to an incident from November 2023, when it was determined that one of the two river crossing pipes that service this location had a leak. It was immediately taken out of service. The other pipe was also found to be in poor condition, but could still handle the flow across the river.

The city went on to explain that both pipes were installed in 1970 and are used to direct sewage flow from southwest Winnipeg to the South End Sewage Treatment Plant.

Last week, city crews began to work on building a bypass system at the Fort Garry Bridge. However, two days after the work started, the other pipe failed.

Due to this pipe issue, the work to assemble the bypass was accelerated. The city expects the system will be in service over the next few days, at which point, the sewage leak will stop.

The City of Winnipeg conducts regular inspections to detect leaks and assess pipes, and has a replacement program in place.

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