Water usage on Sunday crept upwards once again with 467 million litres being used, compared to Saturday's 451 million litres.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek underlined that while the water usage is below this threshold, she said a late-night fire in Calgary's Southeast on Sunday underscores why water conservation by residents is necessary.

aaWater usage on Sunday crept upwards once again with 467 million litres being used, compared to Saturday's 451 million litres. (Graphic credit to The City of Calgary) 

"We're trying to stay lower so we can ensure that we have an emergency supply of water available in case it's needed," she said. "The Calgary Fire Department battled a fire in the community of Prestwick last night. Thankfully, no injuries are being reported, and crews were able to manage the blaze; our ability to use less water for our daily routine has resulted in folks at the Calgary Fire Department being able to access water when they need it for critical situations like the one last night. I want to thank you in advance for continuing to dig deeper."

Mayor Gondek added that a July 5 timeline for the repairs to be completed is still accurate.

"All indications are that the repairs are presently on track, and the plans for flushing the pipe and testing the water are being evaluated to make sure we understand the timelines as the repairs are nearing completion. Please remember that even after crews are done with the repair work, several days are going to be needed to get the water pressure back into the pipes, to make sure any valves or pipes that were modified in the emergency are restored to their typical uses," Mayor Gondek said. "... And to have Alberta Health Services test our water to make sure it's safe for consumption."

Condo complex fire in Calgary's Southeast

On Sunday night at approximately 10 p.m., Calgary Fire Department (CFD) crews responded to reports of a structure fire at the Prestwick Villas Southeast condo complex. A second alarm was called to ensure adequate resources on the scene.

"Upon arrival, fire crews faced significant smoke and flame from an exterior corner and soon after, the entire roof of one of the buildings. Firefighters quickly initiated an exterior fire attack with master streams, both from the ground and from an elevated position on aerial apparatus. Interior attacks and searches were conducted in coordination with the exterior efforts," a city news release stated.

Residences on all sides were protected by crews operating exposure lines. An entire building (48 units) suffered severe damage to the top floor and roof due to the fire. Water damage is also significant throughout the structure.

"Red Cross has set up a reception center and is assessing displaced residents’ needs at the time of this release, with CPS and AHS assisting. Transit has supplied buses to shelter residents while being assessed. There are no reports of injuries at the scene.

Fire crews including a fire investigator remain on scene to ensure there is no fire extension and to confirm extinguishment. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Airdrie offers non-potable water to residents 

The City of Airdrie announced on Friday that it has set up non-potable water tanks for watering plants, flowers and gardens at the Airdrie Recycle Depot.

On Saturday, The City stated that Non-potable water from the tanks at the Recycle Depot will now be accessible during and outside depot hours via a connected hose placed outside the fence.

Residents are asked to bring their own buckets—up to five gallons—and fill them using the hose attached to the tanks. The non-potable water is for residential use only.

"This water is for plants, flower and garden use only. It is not safe for drinking or household use," The City underlined.

It also added that city crews will be doing some dust suppression and street sweeping work this weekend to maintain community safety. However, the water used for this is trucked in from other communities.

"Our community’s efforts to reduce water usage are paying off. Yesterday, June 20, we saw a 26 per cent drop in water usage compared to normal levels before the outdoor water restrictions," city officials added.

Airdrie's Recycle Depot is located at 21 East Lake Hill. The Depot is open Wednesday to Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Monday and Tuesday. 

Airdrie and Calgary remain under water restrictions and fire ban 

Airdrie and Calgary remain under water restrictions and a fire ban. Genesis Place pool and aquatics facilities will remain closed until and including July 1. 

"Ice-arena activities resumed over the weekend. The water used to maintain the City’s ice arenas is being supplied from sources outside the Calgary water main break impacted region via a water truck," officials added.

Under level four water restrictions, all outdoor water use is temporarily banned, and indoor water conservation is strongly encouraged. Under level four water restrictions, residents cannot:

  • Water lawns, gardens, trees, shrubs and flowers by any method other than rainwater.
  • 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.

No boil water advisories are 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 asked to reduce water use.
  • Businesses that use water to deliver a life-sustaining product or service for people and animals are exempt. Other exemptions include businesses using water to meet health code standards, such as health centres and restaurants.

"The fire ban will remain in effect until repairs to the broken water main pipe in Calgary are made and normal water consumption can resume," The City stated on June 6. 

An Alberta Emergency Alert advisory remains in place for Calgary, Airdrie, Strathmore, and Chestermere.

"... Supply levels remain in a critical state, affecting the city's ability to provide water to communities and ensure adequate water is available to support emergency fire suppression."

Calgary's non-potable options for residents and commercial users

According to a City of Calgary news release, two commercial pick-up sites for non-potable river water were opened for use on Friday, one at West Baker Park and the other in Ogden, for businesses doing work that requires dust control, compacting of dirt or gravel surfaces and establishing new landscaping projects.

"These businesses picked up approximately 336,280 litres from both sites as of Sunday."

On Sunday, The City expanded our program to make non-potable river water available to all Calgarians. It can be picked up free of charge at the following locations:

  • Ogden boat launch
  • West Baker Park boat launch
  • Bishop O’Bryne High School
  • The Genesis Centre
  • Ambrose University
  • Spy Hill Landfill

This water can be used for garden vegetables, flowers, and outdoor and indoor plants.

"Please wash your vegetables thoroughly before consuming. This water can also be used for handwashing, if it is boiled for one minute, and cleaning, but not for surfaces or dishes in contact with food. You must bring your container to hold the water so choose your container wisely. To ensure there is a fair opportunity for all Calgarians, you can take up to 25 gallons or 100 litres of water."

Roads and Mobility

Access to all businesses in the area is currently being maintained and Bowness and Montgomery businesses are open. 

The following traffic impacts will be in effect until the completion of the feeder main repairs:

  • Westbound lanes along 16 Avenue Northwest from 49 Street Northwest to Home Road have reopened today. Eastbound lanes are open.
  • 16 Avenue Northwest will be closed in both directions from 46 Street Northwest and 45 Street Northwest
  • 16 Avenue Northwest will be closed in both directions from 43 Street Northwest to Bowness Road Northwest
  • East/West traffic will be detoured onto Bowness Road. Expect delays.
  • The eastbound detour starts at 46 Street to Bowness Road and re-enters 16 Avenue at the Shaganappi Trail interchange

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