Raw sewage overflows on river skating trail in Wolseley

A river skating trail in the Wolseley neighbourhood has been covered with raw sewage after a city drain pipe overflowed on Monday.

Ross Brownlee has lived along the Assiniboine River for about three years. It’s a spot he said is a gift that he and his family do not take for granted.

However, he told CTV News on Tuesday he found an “alarming” surprise on the trail. It had been covered in raw sewage.

“Just imagine a bunch of toilets going and what’s afterwards,” Brownlee said.

In a statement to CTV News, the City of Winnipeg said the sewage overflow was a result of the drain becoming overrun with snow melt.

It said the overflow is meant to prevent sewers from backing up into people’s basements.

“It is really disheartening to see raw sewage flowing down what the day before was a skating trail with thousands of people on it,” Brownlee said. “I think the bigger question is ethically, in a first-world city, should we be dropping raw sewage into our rivers whether we see it when it goes onto our skating trails or it disappears.”

He said Winnipeg needs to take a better look at how it deals with waste water.

“What do we as a city and a country need to do to see that we are good stewards for the earth?” he said.

The city said it has a plan in place and is working towards treating more wastewater from combined sewer overflows.