Manitoba

Cracked pipes at St. Boniface hospital leak raw sewage

St. Boniface Hospital has no idea how much raw sewage has leaked into the ground near the Red River from cracks in century-old pipes under the hospital, a spokesperson says.

Pipe damage near Red River found during routine maintenance audit in spring

Broken pipes in St. Boniface Hospital have been leaking raw sewage into the ground, a spokesperson says. (CBC)

Officials at Winnipeg's St. Boniface Hospital have no idea how much raw sewage has leaked into the ground near the Red River from cracks in century-old pipes under the hospital, a spokesperson says.

"We're unable to quantify the volume of sewage that leaks into the ground because this is not a daily occurrence and there haven't been any leaks reported recently," hospital communications co-ordinator Arpita Goala said in an email.

There are no visible signs or odours in the hospital from the leak, Goala said, and gas levels are normal, so it is safe for staff to work in the area.

The cracks were found in the hospital's original drain pipes from the early 1900s during a routine maintenance audit in the spring, she said. The pipes are in a crawl space in a part of the building that is facing the river.

The leaks are fixed when they are reported to maintenance staff, she said.

The hospital has contacted local and out-of-province contractors about the repair work because it will be complex, Goala  said, and management is waiting for quotes.

The initial estimate for repairs was at least $150,000 and the hospital decided to look at other options to repair or replace the pipes, she said. 

The estimates for the other options are still in progress.

with files from Bryce Hoye

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