In a Monday afternoon update, City of Calgary officials thanked their regional partner for doing their part to reduce water and said that work is advancing to repair a large feeder main break near 16 Avenue Northwest and Home Road.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Susan Henry added that businesses, residents and regional partners are all playing a role.

"We also want to recognize the businesses and residents in Airdrie, Chestermere and Strathmore who use Calgary’s treated water and have been reducing their consumption too," she said. "I want to say a special thank you to our Calgary businesses, for continuing to do their part in reducing water.

According to Henry, businesses in Calgary use about 35 per cent of total water consumption with households using about 65 per cent.

"Both businesses and individuals play a big role."

Eugene Lund Manager of Utility Operations with The City of Airdrie said that there has been an overall 21 per cent average decrease in water consumption in Airdrie since level four water restrictions were implemented as a result of the water main break in Calgary.

Airdrie City officials added that on Sunday, there were a total of nine complaints regarding the water ban, seven of those complaints pertained to residents watering, while two more were for hot tub filling.

Airdrie continues to be under level four water restrictions and a fire ban. During level four outdoor water restrictions, 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.

Calgary city officials have said that, overnight, crews removed a section of the damaged pipe, and removal of two more is underway.

"Video inspection is being reviewed to help us understand the extent of the damage. We continue to build out the plan and timeline for completing the repair along with the necessary steps to return safe, reliable water service to Bowness and lift the mandatory water restrictions."

"I want to thank the crews, engineers and other dedicated staff we have working 24/7 to repair the Bearspaw South Feedermain and restore normal water supply across our city," said Water Services Director Nancy Mackay.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek said Calgarians are making a difference because demand does not outweigh supply, but residents need to continue to reduce indoor consumption and avoid outdoor watering.

"People in Calgary and surrounding communities were such good water stewards over the weekend. Water consumption was down significantly, and I can tell you it’s because of all of your efforts. Saturday 440 m/l of water were used and yesterday that number was 457, typically at this time of year our consumption is around the 580 m/l mark, so we have reduced our use by a quarter," Mayor Gondek said.

She underlined that if water conservation doesn't continue, water may run out.

"You could turn on a tap and nothing will come out. That is the reality, it’s not a scene out of a movie anymore. It is incredibly important for us to understand how serious this situation is right now. I’m also very confident that all of you will continue your efforts to conserve water and use less by doing the things you’ve been doing."

The City of Calgary officials said that they are continuing to follow up on calls to 3-1-1 for water misuse. Since this event began Wednesday, June 6, there have been an additional 10,236 calls to 3-1-1 compared to this time last year.

"Since the event began, we have received 815 calls, including 31 new calls as of this morning. Officers have attended 669 calls so far and have issued 214 verbal warnings, 176 written warnings, and one ticket to a contractor associated with construction work."

Motorists are asked to plan alternate routes through the impacted area this week. Currently, 16 Avenue Northwest is closed to traffic and pedestrians in both directions; Eastbound between Home Road and Sarcee Trail, as well as Westbound: between Home Road and 49 Street.

"Expect significant delays. Please consider working from home if you are able. Plan to use alternate routes, or leave earlier," The City stated on its website.  

Calgary and Airdrie remain under a city-wide fire ban. In Calgary, there have been 109 calls about fire pits and other illegal burnings.

"We would like to remind Calgarians that gas and propane fire pits are not allowed to be used during the fire ban. Calgary Fire Department attended to three fires yesterday. Because of your reduction efforts, we have adequate water supply to attend to these fires, but we must remain vigilant."

In a Monday evening update, The City of Calgary stated that Alberta Health Services (AHS) testing has confirmed that water in the community meets all water quality guidelines and standards and is safe for normal consumption.

The Boil Water Advisory has been lifted for the northwest community of Bowness.

"All residents and businesses in Bowness can consume their water from the tap, as boiling is no longer required. Residents do not need to flush their systems to access safe drinking water.

The City also added that it has made changes to deliver safe drinking water from the Bearspaw Water Treatment Plant to the community of Bowness by bypassing the damaged feeder main. 

"Despite the advisory lifting, Calgarians must continue to conserve water, so demand does not outstrip supply. The mandatory Stage 4 outdoor watering restrictions remain in place, as crews continue to work on the feeder main break near 16 Avenue Northwest and Home Road."

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.

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