2 million litres of diluted sewage flowed into Assiniboine River as firefighters fought stubborn blaze

Firefighters who doused a blaze on Roseberry Street last week may have caused more than two-thirds of an Olympic-sized pool's worth of diluted sewage to leak into the Assiniboine River, the City of Winnipeg says.

Firefighting efforts on Roseberry Street led to leak near Ferry Road, city says

Firefighters battling a serious fire on Roseberry Street make their way through thick smoke and steam during a shift change on Feb. 6. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Crews battling a house fire last week may have inadvertently caused nearly two-million litres of diluted sewage to pour into the Assiniboine River.

Roseberry Street was coated in ice, as were power lines and poles, as crews poured water on the fire. (Manitoba Hydro/Twitter)

The City of Winnipeg confirms 1.8 megalitres of the diluted sewage — more than two-thirds the volume of an Olympic swimming pool — flowed into the river on Feb. 5 near Ferry Road. The surge lasted at least three hours from the time an overflow alarm went off at about 7:45 p.m.

The water firefighters used to douse a nearby blaze on Roseberry Street south of Ellice Avenue likely caused the leak, the city said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The city says it reported the wastewater discharge to Manitoba Sustainable Development the day of the incident.

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