Airdrie residents should be prepared for the level four water restrictions to continue throughout the weekend and into next week due to a water main break that occurred last week in Calgary's northwest. 

"I want to restate that we are still asking Calgarians, as well as residents and businesses of Chestermere, Airdrie and Strathmore to help conserve water as the [Calgary] Mayor has outlined," stated Water Services Director, Nancy Mackay on Tuesday.

In an update yesterday, Calgary officials said that repair work on the critical water feedermain pipe break near 16th Avenue and Home Road Northwest is underway, but there are several key steps that crews must complete before a more definitive timeline of when water service will be restored and restrictions phased out. 

Yesterday, crews were deploying a second robot that will travel further into the pipe to assess more sections.

"We also expect crews to begin preparing the pipe for its replacement, followed by installing and welding the new pipe into place. This work is expected to take two days. Once installed we will fill and flush the pipe, to remove any sediment, which is expected to take three days due to its large size," city officials stated.

Once the flush is complete, crews will prepare the pipe and the city network for water to begin flowing again, including filling the pipe. This process will take approximately two days, including water quality testing. It will only be after this last step that The City [of Calgary] will be able to determine the timing of restoring the city water supply and phasing out water restrictions as water service is returned to the city.

"By the middle of next week, we will know more about our timeline for when mandatory Stage four outdoor watering restrictions can be relaxed, restoring water services across the city."

It is estimated the work to continue inspecting and repairing the damaged pipe will take seven days. Repair work to the damaged section including installing and welding the replacement pipe is anticipated to take around two days to complete. 

While Alberta Health Services (AHS) has lifted the Boil Water Advisory for the community of Bowness, Calgarians must continue to conserve water, so demand does not outstrip supply.

"We remain completely focused on these repairs and the next steps in restoring water flow through this feedermain as fast as possible," said Water Services Director Nancy Mackay. "We know the restrictions are an inconvenience. I want to sincerely thank everyone for your patience and your continued support."

Under the current level four water restrictions in Airdrie, residents are not allowed to:

  • Water lawns, gardens, trees, and shrubs by any method.
  • Wash down any outdoor surfaces, including exterior building surfaces, windows, sidewalks, driveways, or walkways of any sort unless your business requires them to for health and safety reasons.

  • Wash cars on driveways or streets.

  • Fill outdoor decorative features, fountains, pools, or hot tubs.

  • Use potable water for construction purposes such as grading, compaction, or dust control

There are no boil water advisories in effect within the City of Airdrie, and water remains safe to drink.

"To ensure we share the water currently available, we are asking Airdrie residents to immediately restrict indoor water use by taking the following voluntary actions:"

  • Use dishwasher and washing machine only when required and with full loads.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Limit showers to five minutes or less and keep baths shallow.
  • Scrape plates clean rather than rinsing food off.
  • Turn off humidifiers and ice machines, delay washing vehicles,
  • Businesses using large volumes of non-essential water, such as laundromats and car washes, are being asked to reduce water use.
  • Businesses using water to deliver a product or service that is life-sustaining for people and animals are exempt. Other exemptions include any businesses that must use water to meet health code standards, such as health centres and restaurants.

However, City of Airdrie officials have commended Airdrie residents on their water conservation. Yesterday, The City shared that on June 10, water consumption was down 21 per cent from June 5, before the water main break and the outdoor water restrictions were announced.

"Calls to Municipal Enforcement (M.E.) about residents or businesses using water were minimal. M.E. used each opportunity to educate about the outdoor water ban. Thanks for continuing to help manage our water usage," The City of Airdrie stated.

A fire ban remains in effect for The City of Calgary as well as Airdrie, however after consulting with the construction industry, the Calgary Fire Department is now permitting certain lower-risk hot works activities for roofing (restrictions on this work apply and work using open flames are prohibited). 

All Calgary City-operated aquatic fitness facilities and leisure centres are open, including weight rooms. North Mount Pleasant and Wildflower Arts Centres are open. However, swimming pools, arenas, water parks and showers remain closed.

Detours are in place as 16 Avenue remains closed at Home Road Northwest.

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