Calgary mayor stresses water conservation as feeder main repair timeline updated

The problem section of the water feeder main that ruptured in Calgary is being repaired, but that doesn't mean water supply worries are ending any time soon.

During a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, city officials continued to urge residents to limit their water use.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek spoke Wednesday at the city's regular update on the water main break and said the city's water use Tuesday increased from the day before.

"Preliminary numbers show us that water use yesterday was 480 million litres, which is up slightly from the day before," said Gondek.

"But it's at the threshold that we want to try to maintain. It's also down 100 million litres from our average at this time of year."

An updated repair timeline was released on Tuesday. City officials say work to repair the water main will go into next week.
An updated repair timeline was released on Tuesday. City officials say work to repair the water main will continue into next week. (City of Calgary)

Gondek said the repair plan has three main stages:

  • Install the new replacement pipe, which will take roughly two days.

  • Flush the feeder main, removing any leftover water and sediment, which could take up to three days.

  • Fill the pipe and ready the city's network for water to begin flowing again, which will take about two days.

Officials said Calgarians can expect water restrictions to continue into mid-next week.

Nancy Mackay, director of water services for the City of Calgary, said Wednesday that crews have now inspected 1.8 kilometres of the rest of the pipe.

The section of pipe being replaced is about seven metres long (23.5 feet).

Surrounding towns asked to conserve Calgary water

Calgarians aren't the only ones being asked to limit their use.

The City of Airdrie is one of the municipalities — like Strathmore and Chestermere — that uses Calgary's water supply.

Since the water main break, Airdrie's top 100 water users have been contacted and asked to reduce usage, according to Mayor Peter Brown.

"Everybody's been great so far," Brown said in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday.


LISTEN | Airdrie's mayor talks conserving water, working with Calgary: 

Brown said his community is under Level 4 water restrictions, so outdoor watering is restricted and residents are being asked to be mindful of their indoor water usage. Calgary is under similar restrictions.

He said Airdrie is almost halfway through a 20-year agreement on water sharing with the City of Calgary.

"This isn't over yet," he said. "You've got some awesome people that are working diligently to get this fixed."

As of Friday morning, bylaw officers had attended eight calls for fires and 56 calls for misuse of water, according to the City of Calgary.
Bylaw officers are attending calls for misuse of water, according to the City of Calgary. (Helen Pike/CBC)