The City of Calgary says it is making progress on fixing a water main break that has left the city with a water shortage, but it could still be a week before it is repaired.

On June 5, the city said a “critical water main break” occurred in a supply pipe that has impacted water availability throughout the city.
However, the city said that “significant progress” had been made in a situation update on June 8. Calgary residents have been asked to curb water consumption until the repair is complete.

“We are making good progress, however, it’s important to know this is a complex process and I want Calgarians to be prepared and understand that it will take some time to complete this repair,” said Water Services Director Nancy Mackay. She estimated it could be up to a week before the situation is resolved.

“There are still many unknowns, and we want to ensure we take the time to do this right.”

Crews were able to reach the damaged section of the water main on June 7, working overnight to clear water, dirt and debris in order to assess the site of the leak.

Related Stories

Alberta Government Planning High-Speed ​​Rail From Calgary to Edmonton
Calgary Mayor Meets With Man Behind Petition To Oust Her

The damage has “severely impacted” the supply in reservoirs as well as hindered the ability to move water around the city, the update said.

It’s expected that crews will prepare the pipe for inspection, and then determine the next steps. The city also said it anticipated workers will be able to start cutting out damaged sections of the pipe.

Residents are asked to continue to reduce water use in compliance with mandatory restrictions that prohibit outdoor water use such as watering lawns; washing outdoor spaces like driveways and sidewalks; filling outdoor fountains, pools, or hot tubs; as well as avoiding water consumption in construction. The city has also asked residents to reduce their indoor water consumption by delaying using dishwashers and washing machines, limiting shower times and taking shallow baths, turning off taps when not in use, and shutting off automatic sprinkler systems, ice machines, and humidifiers.

“We are in a better place than yesterday, but it’s only because of you,” Ms. Mackay said. “There is still a high risk that we will run out of water if we don’t continue to conserve as much as we can.”

The city’s mayor, Jyoti Gondek, says the water situation has impacted several businesses in the area.

“We’ve heard stories from businesses big and small about the steps they are taking to save water, from laundromats asking customers to only do essential laundry, to major water consumers, which have voluntarily made cuts to their water consumption and as of yesterday had saved 284,000 liters of water,” she said.

Ms. Gondek said the city has contacted 700 of the “biggest water consumers,” the majority of them willing to cooperate with restrictions.

“These steps can be hard for businesses, but they are so important to our city’s water supply right now. Thank you to everyone who is putting the community first and helping us get through this together.”

A boil water advisory also remains in place for residents and businesses in Bowness, the city said.

Enforcement for ‘Water Misuse’

Calgary residents could soon be handed tickets for “water misuse” in light of the situation, according to Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Sue Henry.

“Since Thursday, we’ve received 300 calls on water misuse, the majority of those have been resolved,” she said in the update.

“We’re continuing our approach to educate Calgarians first before issuing tickets but will be beginning some enforcement actions this weekend where we’re getting repeated calls for water misuse. Every small action you can take makes a big difference for everyone.”

One of the concerns is that the city fire department has enough water available for firefighting, Ms. Henry said.

The city has put a fire ban into effect, which includes city parks, to prevent any “unnecessary fires.”

City swimming pools and arenas have been closed due to the water main break, and other services have been disrupted, such as street sweeping, athletic parks, and the Calgary Soccer Centre.