The Lake Winnipeg Foundation (LWF) is sharing what they are calling “shocking and disturbing” photos online they say show signs of sewage contamination in Lake Winnipeg.

In what LWF said was a “disturbing update” from the Sandy Hook area, the not-for-profit organization that advocates for the health of Lake Winnipeg shared photos on their Facebook page they said were taken by a long-time resident of Sandy Hook, a community north of Winnipeg that sits along the shores of the lake.

“Linda Mose, a long-time resident shares these shocking images of the beach and lake at Sandy Hook,” LWF said on their Facebook page. “Having lived here for over a decade, Linda remarks, ‘In 10 years, I’ve never seen so much pollution wash up on our shores.’

“From feminine hygiene products to murky waters, the signs of sewage contamination are undeniable.”

Photos shared by LWF also show a bag of waste they say was collected by Mose at the beach at Sandy Hook that includes multiple feminine hygiene products and other waste.

“This bag of waste was collected along just 500 feet of our beach,” LWF said.

The images come after the City of Winnipeg confirmed earlier this year that a massive sewage leak near the Fort Garry Bridge in south Winnipeg caused approximately 221 million litres of raw sewage to flow into the Red River, which flows into Lake Winnipeg and other bodies of water.

LWF say they are also urging residents and those who are concerned about the health of Lake Winnipeg to reach out to Manitoba Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt with those concerns, and to inquire about a review currently being conducted regarding Winnipeg’s North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC).

“Manitoba’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt is reviewing the City of Winnipeg’s timeline for upgrading sewage treatment at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre. This is our chance to advocate for the health of Lake Winnipeg and to inquire about the timeline of a review,” LWF said.

“This is a critical opportunity for lake-lovers to speak up for the health of Lake Winnipeg by demanding accelerated phosphorus compliance at NEWPCC.”

In an email Schmidt said “after years of government cuts to departmental staff and a reduction of site inspections by the former government, we have introduced legislation that would allow for fines to be levied when environmental protection orders are not complied with. We continue to work with the City of Winnipeg which includes providing 10 million dollars for improvements to wastewater infrastructure.”

The minister added “Environment and Climate Change is regularly communicating with the City of Winnipeg regarding their upgrade plans for the North End Water Pollution Control Centre.”

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

By Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 04, 2024 at 19:06

This item reprinted with permission from    The Sun    Winnipeg, Manitoba
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