Calgary officials hopeful water main repairs will be finished on early end of timeline

June 19th marks two weeks into Calgary’s water feedermain break and with the main rupture fixed, repairs continue at the five new sites. Henna Saeed speaks to the mayor to get a timeline on the repairs.

City officials say Calgary’s water emergency could be over sooner than some expected with replacement pipe from California having arrived and repairs ramping up.

During a Wednesday afternoon update, Calgary’s general manager of infrastructure services, Michael Thompson, said the five hotspots requiring repairs have been excavated and cutting of the existing pipe is now underway.

“There are still many risks ahead, but every day we work through this complex repair we become more confident in our timeline,” he said.

The city says the original three-to-five week timeline given last Friday is still in place, but they now believe it will be on the lower end when things will be completed, which would be July 5 — the first day of the Calgary Stampede.

The two additional pieces of pipe needed for the repairs arrived from San Diego late Tuesday, and they are now “being sandblasted and coated with epoxy at a local shop” to ready them for being lifted into the ground.

The city already had existing parts in supply for three of the other hotspots in need of fixing. Thompson explained Tuesday the hotspots are not leaks, but sections of the pipe that needed immediate repair.

“As we learn more about the timing it will take to flush the pipes, the timing it will take to test the water and restart the flow, we will keep you updated every step of the way,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek said during the update.

“It will be a staged approach before we return to normal.”

third party investigation into what caused the rupture along the Bearspaw south feeder main is now underway. A section of the pipe burst on June 5 and caused flooding along 16 Avenue NW near Home Road.

The work to fix the pipe took a hit last week when two workers were injured at the site. The city says the two workers are out of hospital and recovering at home.

The mayor also noted Wednesday that residents have used less water than the city produces for four days in a row, reducing the risk of taps running dry.

Gondek says the city has saved an equivalent of over 600 Olympic swimming pools and is calling it “a gold medal effort.”

Coby Duerr, acting chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said city crews are cutting down on use by spraying dechlorinated water from swimming pools to wash bridges and bridge decks.

The city is also working with the construction industry to open two locations on the Bow River for companies to access non-potable water for their projects, Duerr said. The Alberta government expedited permits for the move

The city said Tuesday it’s education-first period for residents on outdoor water restrictions has ended, explaining fines will now be handed out for breaking Stage 4 mandatory outdoor water restrictions.

Listen to CityNews 660 for the latest on Calgary’s water emergency.

With files from The Canadian Press

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