Work to repair water main resumes after two workers hurt on site

Work on Calgary’s water main break has been delayed after two workers were injured on site. Margot Rubin reports.

The city says crews were given the go-ahead to resume repairs on the broken water pipe in northwest Calgary on Thursday after it was halted because of an accident that left two workers hurt.

Two people working to repair the damaged feeder main along 16 Avenue NW that broke last week were injured Wednesday night, Mayor Jyoti Gondek said in a Thursday update.

“I have difficult news to share with you this morning,” she said. “Two people were injured onsite overnight. Both were taken to hospital and neither are in critical condition.”

CAO David Duckworth says around 10 p.m., one city employee and one contract employee were hurt. One has since been treated and released and the other remains in stable condition in hospital.

Officials say the workers were in the process of welding a metal collar at the site when a chain broke, resulting in the injuries to the two workers. The mayor said crews initiated a safety stop immediately.

In an update Thursday afternoon, officials said Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) had given the go-ahead for work to resume and they expect repairs to resume some time in the early afternoon.

“We will continue working with OHS Alberta and this incident will be included in our after action review,” said the city’s director of Occupational Health and Safety Chris Collier.

Updated timeline on repairs

Earlier this week, city officials had said work on repairing the pipeline would be completed by Thursday ahead of three days of flushing the feeder main and another two days of restoring water and testing the equality.

Infrastructure manager Francois Bouchard estimates the injury to the workers will push back the timeline by a day or two.

“It’s not going to add a week,” he said. “While we understand how anxious everyone is to have the feeder main repaired, worker safety is our top priority.”

The city says the replacement pipe is now in place while the damaged pipe has been removed from the site and is still being investigated by crews. More of the feeder main has been scanned by robots to continue to ensure the integrity of the rest of the pipe.

Calls to lower water use heightened

Gondek said that Wednesday saw the most water usage in the city since Saturday, as she renewed her calls for residents to curb their use.

“There is a concerning trend of water use in our city,” she said Thursday afternoon. “I need you to continue those efforts.”

Water use in the city rose another nine million litres, according to the mayor.

“That is taking us far over the safe threshold, and our supply is lower than it has been in the past few days,” she said. “This morning, we are at a place where we don’t have enough of a cushion for emergencies.”

Gondek referenced a two-alarm fire in Woodbine Wednesday night, when stressing how important it is to keep conserving water.

CEMA Chief Sue Henry said crews used approximately 100,000 litres of water to put out the blaze. She added it is not uncommon for the fire department to use 600,000 to up to 1.5 million litres of water when putting out fires.

Stage 4 water restrictions remain in place for resident and businesses, as does a fire ban.

When asked why car washes in the city remain allowed to operate, Gondek said many use mostly recycled water, while notingresidents do not need to attend a car wash just because it is open.

“It’s not going to hurt my feelings if there is a little bit of dirt on your car as you pass me,” she said.

A boil water advisory that was introduced for the community of Bowness by Alberta Health Services (AHS) following the break was lifted on Monday.

Listen to CityNews for the very latest.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today