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Five more locations need repair on Calgary water main, restrictions to stay in place for three to five weeks

Officials with the City of Calgary announced this evening that an inspection of the broken section of the water feeder main has revealed five more breaks.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek updates Calgary water users on the ongoing water crisis on June 11, 2024.

Officials with the City of Calgary announced at a press conference this evening that a robotic inspection of the broken section of the water feeder main that burst in the Calgary neighbourhood of Bowness last week has revealed five more locations along the pipe that need repairs.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) chief Sue Henry said the pipe isn't safe to bring back into service without repairing the other sections identified in the inspection. Henry said that the current water restrictions will stay in place for an additional three to five weeks as City crews work to repair all sections of the damaged feeder main.

"[This] is the most traumatic and dramatic break of the feeder main [we've] ever seen," said Henry. "From all accounts, this should not have happened," Henry said 7,000 businesses in Calgary have been contacted by the City's outreach teams to talk about their water use. Henry also mentioned that the City will bring in further measures if voluntary conservation efforts don't work.

Officials with the City did reveal the cause of the break. According to Francois Bouchart, an official with the City, the break was caused by the fracturing of pre-stressed wire coiled around the inner layer of the concrete pipe.

Bouchart said that, typically, wires can break without causing a catastrophic structural break. Bouchart said that the additional repairs will be done to a section of the feeder main near the Shaganappi Pump Station at Edworthy Park and that another 300 metre section of the pipe needs to be drained for crews to inspect its condition.

"The risk [of another break] is simply too high," said Bouchart. "We have to act immediately."

While the news means current water restrictions will continue for another month, Gondek said everyone's frustrations and potential impatience are understood. "I know you're getting tired of me asking you to conserve water," she said. "Please know your patience is appreciated."

The City will have another update on the ongoing crisis tomorrow.

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