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Benefits of West End Water Pollution Control Centre (WEWPCC) upgrades

  • Compliance with more stringent end-of-pipe discharge limits, terms and conditions contained in the Manitoba Environment Act Licence No. 2669ERR

Effluent disinfection will provide the following benefits:

  • The existing polishing ponds1 at the WEWPCC reduce wastewater treatment plant effluent fecal coliform levels to compliance levels during the summer months. Year-round disinfection will reduce fecal coliform levels ranging from 50,000 to 250,000 per 100mL to a monthly average of 200 per 100mL (or less) for year-round compliance levels
  • Reduced risk of contracting gastrointestinal illness for people using the river for boating, fishing and irrigation
  • Ultraviolet technologies, which do not require the use of chemicals, eliminate the risk of a chemical spill and improve health and safety conditions for both plant operators and the public

Biological nutrient removal will provide the following benefits:

  • Approximately 62% reduction of total annual phosphorus loading from about 46 tonnes per year to approximately 17.5 tonnes per year
  • Approximately 45% reduction of total annual nitrogen loading from about 320 tonnes per year to approximately 175 tonnes per year
  • These additional annual reductions from the WEWPCC effluent, NEWPCC centrate and biological nutrient removal at the SEWPCC will achieve the interim reduction targets of 10% for phosphorus loading and 13% for nitrogen loading from Winnipeg's current situation, consistent with those established in the Lake Winnipeg Action Plan to return Lake Winnipeg to pre-1970 levels
  • Potentially result in improved water quality and reduced algae blooms in Lake Winnipeg
  • Protection of aquatic life from the potentially harmful effects of un-ionized ammonia. The biological nutrient removal process converts ammonia to nitrite/nitrate through the nitrification process and then from nitrite/nitrate to nitrogen gas in the denitrification process. These conversion processes significantly reduce the ammonia concentration in the final effluent to levels well below any that could cause harmful effects to aquatic life

1 The polishing ponds provide cooling in the winter to prevent open ice on the Assiniboine River. Ducks Unlimited has also asked that the City keep the polishing ponds for habitat reasons.

Last updated: April 11, 2024

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