Calgary Water Restrictions To Extend As More Problems Found With Broken Main

Calgary’s water restrictions could be in place for three to five more weeks after numerous additional breaks to a water main were recently found.

City officials said Friday that five additional locations require repairs along a main feeder main that supplies over half of Calgary’s drinking water.

Sue Henry, Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) chief, called the situation “the most dramatic and traumatic break of the feeder main they have ever seen.”

“The pipe is not safe to bring into service without these repairs,” she said. “Our only choice is to stay the course with our current water restrictions for three to five weeks further.”

The water main initially broke on June 5, locking all of Calgary’s swim clubs out of their home pools, and it bled into last week, with the University of Calgary Swim Club (UCSC) and some Cascade swimmers coming together to train at the SLS Center in Cochrane, Alberta.

The breaks were found by a robot that was sent into the feeder main to assess roughly 300 meters of the pipe. The robot found five “hot spots” where significant breakage had occurred in the pipe.

“Our assessment shows the hot spots cannot safely withstand the amount of pressure we need to run through the feeder main,” said Francois Bouchart, the director of capital priorities and investment with the city’s infrastructure services department.

“If we were to complete current repairs and restore the water feeder main now, it would be at high risk of additional catastrophic breaks.”

There are now talks of swim club coaches asking the city for an exception to allow their national-level swimmers to train in one pool. This would potentially see top swimmers from various clubs training out of one pool, while other team members might see their season come to an end.

Three Canadian Olympians heading to Paris train out of Cascade: Yuri KisilIngrid Wilm and Rebecca Smith, while there are four UCSC swimmers and another from Cascade heading to the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in August.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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