April 30, 2019 2:28 pm
Updated: April 30, 2019 7:52 pm

Zebra mussels in Shoal Lake will not impact Winnipeg drinking water, says city

WATCH: The City of Winnipeg said the discovery of zebra mussels in the city's water source will have no affect on the quality of water at the tap for city residents.

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The possible arrival of zebra mussels in the City of Winnipeg water supply will not impact city water quality.

Tim Shanks, manager of Winnipeg Water Services said Tuesday the city water treatment process would mitigate any negative result if the invasive species were to have found their way into Shoal Lake.

WATCH: The City of Winnipeg says the possible arrival of zebra mussels in the city water supply will not have any negative effect on water quality at the tap. Marek Tkach reports.

On Monday, a provincial report said a lone zebra mussel larva had been detected in the lake, which straddles the Manitoba-Ontario border.

READ MORE: Single zebra mussel larva found in Shoal Lake water sample

Manitoba Sustainable Development and the Ontario Ministry of Natural resources and Forestry said they found the larva during the latest round of regular testing.

Shanks said the City of Winnipeg has its own extensive monitoring system, which is done during warm-weather months, which to-date have not indicated zebra mussels to be an issue.


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Regardless, Shanks said the city has had a plan in place to deal with the potential for zebra mussels for some time.

READ MORE: Winnipeg’s zebra mussel problem can be tackled, but comes with big price tag: U.S. researcher

While the filtration system is due for an upgrade, even the currently used 30-year old system would prevent any negative consequence from an invasion.

“This shouldn’t have any water quality at the tap or our treatment processes at the plant,” he said.

Zebra mussels don’t pose any concern to plant operations, Shanks said, since the mussels would not survive the water treatment process.

“They are not viable in the plant at all … this is a maintenance issue, a physical supply issue, and we’ve been planning for it for a long time. The customer shouldn’t see any impact in terms of water quality at the tap.”

WATCH: The effect millions of zebra mussels could have on Manitoba ecosystems, infrastructure

-With files from Elisha Dacey

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