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. If the first sample result indicates the presence of bacteria, homeowners will receive a coupon from the lab for one resample free of charge.
Effective April 1st, 2018, the total price to homeowners for the once-a-year subsidized sample is $22.31 (tax included).
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
Provincial water well fact sheets and educational videos on well testing, well disinfection, and how to reduce well water contamination are available at manitoba.ca/drinkingwater under “Public Information”.
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
East Selkirk has had water service since 2012. 675 residents, schools and some commercial businesses receive service. The water quality meets all standards stated in the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines. the water is drawn by two pumps from a lower carbonate aquifer.
The RM received a $1,000,000 grant from the province in late 2017 to upgrade the East Selkirk water plant upgrade to membrane softening, which will improve water quality and eliminate the need for all in-house treatment equipment. Work is scheduled to begin in 2019.
Concern in 2001 over drinking water contamination, septic field failure and boil-water advisories caused Council to take the unprecedented step (for a largely rural municipality) of fixing this problem for the long term. To protect the aquifer in the affected areas the RM installed a sewage system and a water treatment facility in the village of East Selkirk. The Provincial Boil Water Advisories were finally removed in 2016 (read East Selkirk Boil Water Advisory Removed Letter).
Installation/Hook up Charges
- The estimated cost per property is $13,421.
- You will receive a notice from us when the work is complete and you will have 30 days from that time to decide how you want to pay.
- Payment options:
- Pay the full amount as a lump sum payment.
- Add the amount to your tax bill to be paid over a period of 20 years with an interest rate locked in at that time. The estimated annual cost is $1,218 based on a 6.5% interest rate annually over the 20 years. Please keep in mind the interest rate of this estimate is from when we first applied for the approval of the borrowing. We recently did a borrowing for another project and the interest rate came in at 3.5%.
- We have been asked by a few property owners if they can prepay the installation/hook up. Yes you can.
- 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 28 cubic metres of water will be applied to every bill even if you use less than 28 cubic metres of water.
- 28 cubic metres of water is equivalent to 28,000 litres which works out to 311 litres of water per day per household. The Canadian average use is 251 litres per day per person.
- Water conservation calculator and tips at http://www.home-water-works.org/.
- 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 $117.67 if you did not use 28 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 at: http://www.pub.gov.mb.ca/pdf/15water/4-15.pdf.
- 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.
- Thirty days after the billing date a late payment fee of 1.25% per month will be charged.
- 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.
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.
Restoring your Yard
- The RM of St. Clements will restore your property to its original state to the best of our ability.
- Weather permitting, our contractors should be finished by the end of July.
Problems with your System
- If you have any malfunctions, problems or concerns the RM of St. Clements is available 24 hours a day for any municipal emergencies. Call 204-482-3300.
- Corrections to initial installations will occur over the next several months.
- Canada Mortgage and Housing have published a “Household Guide to water efficiency” which has some wonderful information in it. You can view it on their website at http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/61924.pdf?fr=1429549356599.
- 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.
After I’m connected to the new sewer, will I still need to have my septic tank pumped out? How often?
- Yes – The new 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.
Is there a warranty?
- Yes, there is a one year warranty which starts with the issuance of the Substantial Completion Certificate. What does that mean? Once the RM has signed off or confirmed the project has been completed. This has not been done yet. After the warranty period has expired, you will responsible for all issues from the curb stop to the inside of your house.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Dripping taps are usually quite obvious and often are a simple fix. Replacement of washers or other small parts may solve the problem.
Do I need to install a water softener?
Softeners are a personal choice, some want the water soft and others do not. Generally we have hard water and residents can benefit from a softener. The municipal long range plans are to install water softening at the treatment plant.
I taste chlorine in my drinking water.
We chlorinate the water to maintain safe drinking water. The chlorine in the system is consistent with other distribution systems in Manitoba and is monitored constantly with an alarm system. We submit water samples and chlorine readings to an independent lab as well as to the Office of the Drinking Water.