Water

Most residents and businesses of the RM of St. Clements get their drinking water from an underground carbonate aquifer system via private wells. The Village of East Selkirk has a water distribution system and treatment plant that can accommodate 260 dwellings. There are 12 semi-public water systems within the RM (restaurant, Hutterite Colony, hotel and school).

To find our more about the aquifer system in the RM of St. Clements, including an overview and history, download  Assessment of Regional Water Infrastructure, April 8, 2016 - Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region.

Well Water Testing

The province recommends testing wells and cistern water for the presence of bacteriological contaminants at least once a year. Preferably, the sample should be taken when the system is most vulnerable to contamination, e.g. during spring melt or following a period of heavy rainfall. Additional testing should be conducted if the well or cistern has been affected by flooding or if there is a noticeable change in the water’s taste, colour, odour, or clarity.

Private surface water systems should not be used for drinking unless you are absolutely certain the water has been properly filtered, disinfected, and ongoing water testing has demonstrated that the water is safe to drink. If you are consuming treated surface water, as a minimum, a water test should be conducted every change of season and following any maintenance completed on the treatment system.

Water Testing Labs

The Municipal Office has bottles and forms for water testing from several labs. These are available for residents to pick up anytime during office hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Provincially Subsidized Testing at Horizon Lab

The Province of Manitoba offers private water system owners a once-a-year subsidy for bacteria (total coliform and E. coli) analysis of their drinking water through Horizon Lab.

For information regarding sample bottle pick up, sample submission requirements, and payment options, please contact Horizon Lab directly.

Horizon Lab ltd.
4055 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3K 2E8
Phone: 204-488-2035
Fax: 204-488-4772

Provincial water well fact sheets and educational videos on well testing, well disinfection, and how to reduce well water contamination are available here.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Office of Drinking Water:

  • General inquiries, 204-945-5762;
  • Technical inquiries and guidance specifically related to private wells, 204-948-1351.

East Selkirk Water Utility

The St. Clements East Selkirk Water Treatment Plant (ESWTP) provides high quality potable drinking water to the community of East Selkirk since commissioned in October 2012. The population served is approximately 700 persons plus two public schools with the current capacity to serve a population of 1,350 persons and long-term provisions to support 2,760 residents.

The Rural Municipality of St. Clements jointly with Manitoba Water Services Board retained WSP Canada Inc in 2020 to provide preliminary studies, detailed design, and construction administration services for the expansion the East Selkirk Water Treatment Plant. The scope of the water treatment plant upgrades and expansion include an increase in storage capacity for the projected growth of the community of East Selkirk, the softening of finished water quality via high pressure membrane filtration, addition of a potable water truck fill station, an office space, a washroom for operators, and associated ancillary components. In addition to these items, the design and construction includes considerations and provisions to further expand the distribution of potable water to the community of Lockport as part of a regional water system. Construction on the water treatment plant expansion commenced in August 2021 and is on schedule to be substantially complete in Fall 2022.

Softened water refers to the reduction of calcium and magnesium (carbonate hardness) which will allow for decommissioning of in-home softeners, reduce calcium buildups on plumbing and fixtures, and improve the taste of the water for residents.

Download 2021 East Selkirk Water Treatment Plant Annual Report

Installation/Hook up Charges

  • Properties existing at the time of utility installation had the option of paying their share of the infrastructure costs through a cash payment or through borrowing as part of a Local Improvement District over a 20 year term By-Law 12-2009.
  • For newly created lots within the service area Schedule A of By-Law 10-2012 outline the costs to make connection and buy into the system.

Billing

  • Billing will be quarterly, sent out every three months four times per year in April, July, October and January.
  • Billing is just water for now, but will include sewer once all sewer connections are complete.
  • The charge is based on the amount of water your household uses.
  • A minimum charge based on using 14 cubic metres of water will be applied to every bill even if you use less than 14 cubic metres of water.
    • 14 cubic metres of water is equivalent to 14,000 litres which works out to 156 litres of water per day per household.  The Canadian average use is 251 litres per day per person.
    • Water conservation calculator and tips can be found here
  • This is your second billing, for the second quarter of 2015.
  • The water charge is now based on actual usage.  You will pay the administration charge plus the actual cost of the water you used or the minimum of $74.69 if you did not use 14 cubic meters.  These figures are based on the approved rates from the Public Utilities Board (PUB).
  • The rates you are charged are calculated per the guidelines from the Public Utilities Board (PUB).  A copy of this order was mailed to you earlier this year and can also be viewed on the PUB website
  • The administration fee covers the cost of reading the meters, preparing and mailing out the bills.
  • The minimum charge is to ensure the costs of providing and treating the water are collected.

How to pay

  • Payment can be made at the municipal office by cheque, cash or debit.  It can also be mailed in or dropped through the mail slot at the back door of the municipal office.
  • You can pay online through your financial institution.  Please use your account number as shown on the bottom center of your bill.

Late Payment

  • Thirty days after the billing date a late payment fee of 1.25% per month will be charged.

Meter Readings

  • Readings can be done from the road with hand-held meter readers.
  • Readings will be taken at the end of March, June, September and December.

Helpful information

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing have published a “Household Guide to water efficiency” which has some wonderful information in it.  You can view it here.
  • By simply placing a plug in the sink, instead of leaving the tap to run, you’ll save a litre of water every six seconds. Remember this next time you’re peeling the spuds or doing the washing up.
  • There’s nothing more irritating than a dripping tap, especially as it can waste around 1,544 litres of water a year. That’s enough for twenty baths!
  • Leaving the tap running when brushing your teeth can waste 9 litres of water every minute – that’s 6,570 litres a year! Remember: when you brush and floss, turn it off.

Why do we need a sewer and water system?

Drinking water contamination and a boil-water advisory in the East Selkirk area in 2001 was the reason the RM council decided to undertake the water and sewer project. The RM believes residents have a right to clean water and a protected aquifer, for now and for the future.

After I’m connected to the sewer, will I still need to have my septic tank pumped out?  How often?

Yes – The sewer system will carry only liquid waste to the East Selkirk Lagoon.  Solid waste will be collected in your septic tank and will need to be pumped out every 12–15 months, depending on the size of your tank and the volume of use.

How does this affect my insurance?

You should contact your insurance company to adjust your home insurance to include sewer & water backup on your policy.  Also let them know of your proximity to a fire hydrant.

On February 29, 2016, the East Selkirk area was assessed with new ratings indicating a greater level of fire protection from the Fire Underwriters Survey, the people who provide rating data used by insurance companies to set their rates. (Download the letter from the Fire Underwriters Survey here). New insurance rates for your home shouldbe lower due to the reclassification but you need to discuss this with your insurance provider. The RM does not have this information. Each insuranced provider has their own rating system as well.

How much is a cubic metre?

1 cubic metre = 1000 litres = 220.1 gallons

My water bill seems high – is there a problem with the meter?

Chances are the high water bill is not being caused by a malfunctioning water meter. There are a couple of tests you can run yourself before calling the RM:

  1. On the face of the meter where the numbers are located, there is a separate dial with either a red line or a red triangle in it. This red line/triangle is called a water flow indicator. If you are not running any water in the house and you check the water flow indicator, it should not be moving. If it IS moving, it means there is water flowing through the meter and out somewhere in the house – either a leaky tap or toilet. Experience suggests that more often than not it is a toilet that is the culprit. Toilets can have very silent leaks where water is constantly running through them.
  2. To check your toilet for leaks, before you go to bed at night put a few drops of food coloring in the tank at the back of the toilet. Do not flush the toilet overnight. In the morning, check the bowl of the toilet. If the colored water is now in the bowl, you know there has been water leaking from the tank into the bowl. You need to get this repaired in order to reduce your water usage.
  3. Dripping taps are usually quite obvious and often are a simple fix.  Replacement of washers or other small parts may solve the problem.

Why do I taste chlorine in my water?

Water suppliers use a multi-barrier approach to ensure safe drinking water for customers. This includes health and regulatory requirements as per the Drinking Water safety Act which includes maintaining a minimal chlorine disinfection residual that guarantees the safety of the water as it is distributed to residents.