The City of Calgary has said that city crews have uncovered the pipe and exposed where the break is, in a Friday afternoon update on a massive water main break in the city's northwest. The water main break which occurred earlier this week has impacted the water supply across Calgary, Airdrie, Strathmore, and Chestermere.

"Our crews continue working around the clock. We can now pump out the remaining water, expose the rest of the pipe and finalize repair plans,” said Water Services Director Nancy Mackay. "While this is good news, it will still take days before the feedermain is back in service. And it is crucial that we work together to reduce our water use."

It is not known how long it will take to make the crucial repair, but Mayor Jyoti Gondek says now is the time for Calgarians to continue conserving as much water as possible because this key artery delivers water for the city and surrounding areas. 

"As the work continues in the repair of the water feedermain, we all need to do our part in reducing our water usage to make sure we don’t run out of water,” Mayor Gondek said. "All of our everyday decisions can make a difference. Let’s keep limiting our water usage in our homes. We can get through this together."

Heading into the weekend, both Calgary and Airdrie city officials are continuing to ask residents to continue reducing water use all day, including mornings and evenings. Calgary City-operated pools remain closed until Monday. A fire ban remains in effect as well for Calgary and Airdrie.

"If you are staying in Calgary over the weekend, we need your help to save water for the next few days. If you are travelling out of the city, consider travel and traffic impacts along 16 Avenue in your travel plans," said Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Susan Henry.

Earlier on Friday, officials said that if water use is not reduced, there is a risk of running out.

"The City is asking Calgarians to save water for the next few days while the work gets completed. We’re asking citizens to try to use 25 per cent less water than yesterday. This could mean actions like shaving a few minutes off your shower, skipping a few flushes, and holding off on a load of laundry. We want to encourage Calgarians that right now is not the time to wash your car," Henry added.

The Boil Water Advisory remains in place for all residents and businesses in Bowness. Residents and businesses need to bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before any consumption. 

Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown also issued a plea to Airdrie residents earlier in the day. In a video released on social media, the city's Mayor is asking residents to, 'watching every drop that we utilize.'

"I am sure all of you have heard about the critical challenges with one of the water mains in Calgary and it certainly impacted us here in Airdrie. Calgary saw an increase in water usage yesterday evening, which is a critical challenge for the people who are out there," he said. "We're asking everyone to reduce their water usage, and use it only for your basic needs."

The Mayor also urged residents to not use any potable water for any outdoor use, reminding residents the city continues to be under level four water restrictions. During level four outdoor water restrictions, residents are asked to not:

  • 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

"We're asking all businesses and in fact, we've reached out to our top 100 users to ask them, specifically to reduce their use. We're meeting with them as we speak," Mayor Brown added. "We get our water exclusively from the City of Calgary... and we want to do everything possible to support them, when they're dealing with the challenges they have to deal with, in their own community. Please reduce your potable water usage."

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.

On Friday morning, Airdrie city officials said that water quality remains safe and Airdrie Water Services staff continue to monitor it very closely.

"The pool and arenas in Airdrie will remain closed over the weekend," a brief update stated.

Yesterday, City of Calgary officials explained that the water main break was indeed catastrophic. Mackay explained that a feedermain is akin to a large artery, which moves drinking water from the treated water reservoirs to the network of other mains that deliver drinking water across Calgary and the surrounding region.

"[This is the] Bearspaw South feedermain, which serves 1.2 million Calgarians as well as our regional customers living in Airdrie, Chestermere and Strathmore. This Bearspaw Main is the most critical feeder meeting in Calgary's water system, allowing for the movement of water to the east and south parts of the city, away from our largest water treatment plant in the north of the city."

The feedermain is 11 kilometres long, and it varies up to two meters in width. The main break occurred on Wednesday evening, and on Thursday morning an Alberta Emergency alert was issued, alerting residents of a water supply alert. The alert advisory remains in effect for all communities on Calgary's water supply, including Airdrie, Strathmore, and Chestermere.

Rocky View County has not been impacted by the water main break, but in a statement county officials said that, 'in regional solidarity and consideration of the situation, we are supporting our neighbours in Calgary, Airdrie, and Chestermere, and are on standby, ready for any potential requests for support.'

"There are no boil water advisories in effect within Rocky View County and water remains safe to drink. However, throughout the region, the ability to provide fire suppression services and access to water is critical. Rocky View County is currently under a Fire Ban and we ask residents to follow all restrictions, including no permit burning and the suspension of any outstanding burning and fireworks permits."

While Airdrie's Fire Department suspended all training, City Fire Chief Mike Pirie noted on social media that Fire service in Airdrie is not compromised currently due to water restrictions.

"We have stopped the use of non-essential water such as hydrant testing, pump testing and training. We can get caught up once this is resolved. Crews will only we using water outside the facility for fires and decontamination."

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to You can also message and follow us on Twitter: @AIR1061FM.

DiscoverAirdrie encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverAirdrie app. For breaking news, weather and contest alerts click here