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Province releases water quality standards

The Daily Graphic Staff

The Province of Manitoba recently released its water quality standards regulations for 2012.

The Manitoba Water Quality Standards, Objectives, and Guidelines set out water quality conditions that will protect water quality for various uses including fish and other aquatic life, sources of drinking water, irrigation and livestock watering, and recreation.

The province-wide standards saw changes in acceptable levels of phosphorus and nitrogen for 2012. Under the new province-wide nutrient standards a 1 mg/L phosphorus limit applies immediately for all new, expanding or modified wastewater treatment facilities. Existing wastewater treatment facilities serving more than 2,000 people or equivalent due to industrial contributions will be required to meet a 1 mg/L phosphorus limit by Jan. 1, 2016.

Nitrogen removal to 15 mg/L is also required on a site-specific basis for new and expanding wastewater treatment facilities serving more than 10,000 people or equivalent load. No deadline was specified in the regulation.

Manitoba Water Stewardship has indicated that they will work with the City and other provincial departments to identify sources of funding for nutrient removal upgrading.

The City has applied for 50/50 funding from the Province for engineering design, and for 2/3 Canada-Manitoba infrastructure funding for the remainder of engineering and construction.

The City is expected to come up with a compliance plan later this year.

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