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Timeline tied to easing Calgary indoor water restrictions coming tomorrow

Calgary officials say they’ll have more details on Tuesday morning in regards to whether they’re ready to ease some indoor water conservation measures as they continue to monitor the stabilization of the water system.

In a regular livestream update on Monday afternoon, the City of Calgary’s general manager of infrastructure services Michael Thompson said the city would review its data before making a decision.

“You will have an update tomorrow about whether we are ready to ease some of those reductions and restrictions, or if more time is needed,” Thompson said.

“I want to caution that we do not expect to ease all restrictions, all at once. We will focus on easing indoor water saving measures first.”

As of Monday, there have been roughly 10,704 calls to the City of Calgary’s 311 service tied to the emergency. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Sue Henry said Monday the Bearspaw feeder main is back in service and has been reintroduced into the rest of the distribution system. 

“We are continuing to stabilize the water system, and will continue to operate that system at a reduced capacity,” Henry said.

“We are now adjusting how water flows, and will continue to monitor the system for breaks and leaks.”

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said crews began stabilizing the water system on Sunday. 

Though stabilization is the final step in restoring the city’s water system, she noted that it’s the step that presents the greatest risk of another break or a disruption of service.

“If we go too fast, we could overstress the system. This could cause leaks or breaks. That’s why we’re being so incredibly cautious,” Gondek said. 

“We’re taking things very slowly, because we are not finished yet. We are certainly not out of the woods yet.”

Record low in water use since crisis began

Calgarians used 425 million litres of water on Sunday, the lowest number since the Bearspaw feeder main ruptured in early June, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said during her Monday morning livestream update on the city’s water situation.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for digging a little bit deeper, and getting those water savings up,” Gondek said.

“This gratitude is not just coming from me. It’s coming from so many others. People like the Calgary Fire Department, who had to battle a blaze at Ol’ Beautiful early yesterday morning.”

A photo of the burnt facade of a building.
Ol Beautiful brewing’s tap room, in Calgary’s northeast community of Ramsay, was destroyed by a blaze in the early morning hours of June 30. (Julie van Rosendaal)

On Sunday, a fire destroyed the Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Company brewery in Ramsay. It required an estimated 1.2 million litres of water to extinguish.

The city had issued an urgent call for residents to cut their water consumption on Friday, after usage spiked to its highest level since the crisis began.

The city noted that some Calgarians have been seeing cloudy water when turning on their taps. That is a result of reconnecting the feeder main to the water system, and the city said it is an aesthetic issue only.

“Drinking water continues to be safe to consume. We are flushing water at some hydrants to reduce this,” reads a release from the city.

The city said it will hold a livestream at 10:30 a.m. MT on Tuesday to provide information as to how close it is to easing indoor measures.

WATCH | City officials outline the status of the stabilization of Calgary’s water supply:

City provides update on water main break

City officials provide update on the major feeder main break affecting Calgary’s water supply.

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