Calgary’s damaged water pipe completely removed; new parts being installed

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek says the damaged pipe has been completely removed and the city is moving towards installing the new parts.

In the Saturday update, the mayor says sections of the removed pipe are being stored so they can become part of the independent review.

The city has called for a third-party investigation into what caused the rupture along the Bearspaw south feedermain. A section of the pipe burst on June 5 and caused flooding along 16 Avenue NW near Home Road.

“This is a significant milestone,” Gondek said.

She says most of the materials required for repairs are on-site or being delivered.

Gondek also says welding has started and will continue through the weekend. This involves reinforcing steel being installed at one segment of pipe called the thrust block, because it’s an “important part of the pipe stability system needs to remain in place.”

General manager of infrastructure Michael Thompson says that section won’t be removed for this reason.

“I was out speaking with crews this morning and we have made excellent progress with the night shift,” he said. “So the rebar needed for this casing and concrete is scheduled to be poured later today.”

He also says the city prioritized locally sourced materials for the repairs, and the pipe needed could not be sourced this way.

“The pipe we received from San Diego was specific to this feeder main and could not be sourced locally. without slowing down the repair timeline,” Thompson said.

Gondek also says the city will be reaching out to municipal colleagues across the country over the coming days to make sure “this doesn’t happen anywhere else.”

Meanwhile, Gondek says the July 5 target is still “very much in play.”

This comes after the city said Wednesday that the original three-to-five-week timeline given last Friday is closer to being on the lower end of the timeline — landing on the first day of the Calgary Stampede.

CEMA Sue Henry says water-saving tips have been translated into 12 different languages on the city website and will continue with a multi-language campaign to get the info out to “every Calgarian.”

She says 48,784 litres of non-potable water has been available at the Ogden Boat Launch and Baker Park on the Bow River for construction crews.

This will be available for Calgarians starting Sunday for gardening and other watering needs that don’t require treated water, according to Henry.

She says the city is still looking at expanding other areas for water.

As of Saturday, 8,450 calls have been made to 311. Of those calls, 2,386 were for water misuse calls to 311, with 621 verbal warnings have been issued, and 14 violation tickets have been issued.

Around 172 calls for service about the fire ban have resulted in 19 written warnings, 71 verbal warnings, and five violation tickets.

Concerns for water use amid warm weather

With the sunny and warmer weather expected on Saturday, Gondek says it could be challenging to beat the heat with the outdoor water restrictions in place.

“Staying hydrated is very important. So make sure you are drinking lots of water, and please look out for your kids and pets as well. But with the outdoor watering bans still in place, running sprinklers or filling pools is not something you should be doing,” she said. “You could have a visit from bylaw if you participate in using outdoor water.”

“Those hotspots that we need to repair are getting worked on as quickly as possible. So I would ask that you please restrict your outdoor water use while we are getting these repairs done and we can get things back up and running.”

She offered some alternatives for Calgarians, like heading to Calgary public libraries, packing an umbrella, or floating down the Bow River safely.

Calgary’s water use for Friday was at 462 million litres, a few million below the 480 million litre threshold.

All outdoor watering is banned and people have been urged to reduce toilet flushes, take shorter showers and do fewer loads of laundry and dishes.

This story is being updated with the latest information.

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

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