Chronology of the Boil Water Advisory
|October 8, 2013, 8:04 pm||Medical Officer of Health, with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, issues a precautionary Boil Water Advisory for a localized area of southeast Winnipeg|
|October 9, 2013, 5:19 pm||Medical Officer of Health, with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, rescinds the precautionary Boil Water Advisory|
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
The area south of Bishop Grandin to the Perimeter, and east of the Red River to the Seine River.
The Advisory advises residents to take precautionary measures with tap water.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority issued the advisory on a precautionary basis due to positive low level results for bacteria in three of the samples collected on Monday, October 7, 2013, in this localized area as part of our routine compliance testing under the Operating Licence issued by the Provincial Office of Drinking Water.
We retested water samples in the localized area under the precautionary Boil Water Advisory on Tuesday afternoon, October 8, 2013, and received the results early Wednesday afternoon, October 9, 2013. All retest results were negative for bacteria in all the water samples, confirming that the water meets all health and safety water quality regulations and guidelines. We immediately provided the test results to the Province. They reassess the situation and rescinded the precautionary Advisory.
Yes. The only area affected was the area under the precautionary Boil Water Advisory.
Positive test results do happen from time to time, but normally retest negative. For example, in 2012, only 0.92% tested positive city-wide (14 positive tests out of 1,521 tests). They all retested negative. There were no positive E. coli tests.
City staff take all the water samples, and follow a 12 step sampling protocol. All bacteria tests are performed by a contracted lab. A number of factors can cause the sample to have a false positive test result, including:
- contaminated water tap at the sampling location,
- accidental contamination of the container/water during the sampling process,
- accidental contamination of the container/water during the testing process.
Yes. There was more than an adequate level of chlorine for water safety in all the water samples, including the samples with positive low level results of bacteria. The chlorine levels measured met the level required in our Operating Licence and will effectively kill any bacteria in the water.
No. Test results from the discoloured water samples to date have shown no evidence of bacterial or microbiological contamination. Discoloured water is an aesthetic issue only – it does not taste, smell or look pleasant. Health officials do not believe that drinking discoloured water would pose a health risk.
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority was advising residents to bring all water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for:
- drinking and ice making,
- preparing beverages (e.g., infant formula),
- preparing food, and
- brushing teeth
Using alternate and safe supply of water (e.g, bottled water) could be used if boiling water is not feasible.
Commercial, public and permitted facilities (e.g., restaurants, health care facilities, day cares, personal care homes and other private facilities that provide food and water services) were advised to follow water use recommendations from the Boil Water Fact Sheet: Guidelines for food establishments during a boil water advisory.
Section 17(1) of The Drinking Water Safety Act states that: A boil water advisory may be issued by a medical officer if the person issuing the advisory reasonably believes that water from a water system is or may be unsafe for domestic purposes unless it is boiled or otherwise disinfected.
For more details, visit
- Province of Manitoba - water use
- Province of Manitoba - what to do when you are advised to boil your water
- Province of Manitoba - how to operate commercial/public facility under a boil water advisory
- Winnipeg’s drinking water quality and testing program