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Winnipeg’s Water – So Good You Don’t Need A Filter?

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Junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in ...

Junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in Downtown Winnipeg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winnipeg’s new water treatment plant at Deacon Reservoir is a state-of-the-art facility completed in 2009 with all the most modern amenities to ensure Winnipeg’s drinking water quality. But can this super facility combat all the contaminants that can be present in your water?

Located at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, Winnipeg gets its name from the Cree word for “muddy waters.” Because of its location the region was a trading centre for aboriginal peoples long before the arrival of European traders and settlers. Today Winnipeg is a culturally diverse place to live; over a hundred cultural groups are represented in the population and are celebrated throughout the year with many festivals.

Winnipeg’s location on a low-lying flood plain with an extremely flat topography makes it subject to severe flooding. Snow falls and stays from November to April. And so, even with the vaunted water treatment system in place in Winnipeg, the drinking water in resident’s homes could be compromised by things such as severe weather conditions, broken mains and even damaged piping.

Though Winnipeg Is River-Situated, Its Water Is Not River-Sourced

Winnipeg’s water source is not provided by either the Assiniboine or the Red Rivers, but from Shoal Lake, 137km away. The water comes via aqueduct and is kept in 4 large reservoirs which can hold enough water to supply the city for up to 30 days. Winnipeg’s new water treatment plant uses several stages to treat drinking water for consumption and tests more than the province requires in order to give its citizens a good chance at cleaner water. Drinking water endures flocculation and sedimentation to remove sediment and organic particles and further filtration to remove trace elements and remaining parasites. Drinking water is treated with the toxic chemical chlorine to kill viruses and bacteria like E. coli and ultraviolet light to neutralise waterborne parasites like cryptosporidium and giardia. They also add orthophosphate, a food grade substance used in foods and beverages to control alkalinity and acidity, to reduce the amount of lead from lead pipes in the older sections of the city. The water treatment facility is also highly sensitive to the presence of trihalomethanes or THM’s (known carcinogens) and other disinfection by-products, and uses a process of ozone disinfection to help remove these by products from residents’ drinking water – a process used frequently in European water treatment facilities. The harmful byproducts from this treatment process are neutralised by the addition of sodium bisulfate (another substance used in a variety of processes, from pool pH management to industrial food processing).

What Challenges Do Winnipeg’s Water System And Its Users Face?

During the summer, Shoal Lake, like any other lake, can experience algae blooms which can affect the taste and odor of drinking water even after it is filtered and treated. While the new treatment plant uses ozone and sodium bisulphate to improve both of these drinking water problems, it can still produce odd-tasting water at the tap. A home water filtration device can improve the taste of your drinking water as well as remove any lead or other particulates that may have entered the drinking water distribution system after leaving the water filtration plant. Though contamination of drinking water by harmful bacteria or trace elements is not terribly likely (unless in the event of extreme flooding), you can help protect your family’s health with the addition of a home water filtration system to your home. For more information on how a reverse osmosis water filter can improve your water quality, please contact us now for more information, or visit our online store.

If you’re at all concerned about the quality of your water, or you simply want to be certain, you should choose an Aquasafe Home Reverse Osmosis System. An Aquasafe Home Reverse Osmosis system will remove all contaminants from water, including THM’s and HAA’s, producing guaranteed safe water you can count on every time. And it’s only a few cents per liter! Shop online and save today.

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