Water & Sewer

The Shoal Lake Acqueduct: An Enduring Testament to Pioneering Winnipeggers

Winnipeg enjoys an abundant supply of some of the purest water in North America via the ingenious Shoal Lake aqueduct, which became fully operational in 1919 and was designed to support a future population of approximately one million Winnipeggers.

The City of Winnipeg can provide up to 386,000 cubic metres of water per day, with a design peak capacity of 351,000 cubic metres per day.

As well, the city has access to a number of large aquifers, which can provide significant supplies of low-cost, high-quality groundwater. The largest of these is the Carbonate Aquifer. In addition to groundwater sources, Winnipeg is located in a province with abundant supplies of surface water (lakes/rivers). Surface water represents approximately 16 per cent of the province’s overall area.

Wastewater Treatment

The City of Winnipeg's first sewage treatment plant was opened on October 25, 1937. Winnipeg became the first Canadian city with a population exceeding 100,000 to install sewage treatment. Since that time, the plant has been upgraded and expanded to become the North End Water Pollution Control Centre. It's the largest of three wastewater treatment facilities serving the city. It provides primary and secondary activated sludge treatment, as well as sludge processing.

The North End Water Pollution Control Centre treats about 70 per cent of Winnipeg's wastewater. It services most of the old City of Winnipeg, part of St. Boniface, all of East, West, North and Old Kildonan, Transcona and part of St. James. The rest of the city is serviced by the West End Water Pollution Control Centre in Charleswood and the South End Water Pollution Control Centre in St. Vital.