Random Image Display on Page Reload

Calgarians told not to shower as city’s water supply is in a critical state

A water main break that left hundreds of homes without water Wednesday evening has triggered an Alberta Emergency Alert warning that Calgary's water supply is in a critical state.

'Do not shower or bath. Do not wash dishes, or run appliances that use water,' alert said

Water main break causes flooding and road closures in several northwest Calgary communities

13 hours ago

Duration 0:19

A watermain break in northwest Calgary forced the closure of several roads and intersections around the communities of Bowness and Montgomery on Wednesday evening.

A water main break that left hundreds of homes without water Wednesday evening has triggered an Alberta Emergency Alert warning that Calgary's water supply is in a critical state.

The provincial alert, issued to Calgarians' mobile phones and local broadcast systems at 6:37 a.m., said the water main break along 16th Avenue N.W. has affected the city's ability to provide water to communities and ensure adequate water is available to support emergency fire suppression.

"All residents and businesses must conserve water. Do not shower or bath. Do not wash dishes, or run appliances that use water," the alert said.

During a press conference on Thursday morning at the city's Emergency Operations Centre, Sue Henry, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), called the water main break a "critical situation."

Henry said the cause of the "large and complicated" break is still unknown.

The city also invoked a mandatory outdoor watering ban in order to conserve water for emergency firefighting needs and instituted a city-wide fire ban.

"Every drop of water will count," said Henry. "This is not the time for anything other than critical uses."

However, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said it was important to clarify the difference between the mandatory restrictions in place for outdoor use and the city's request for Calgarians to curtail water use within the home.

"We are not saying that you can't give your kids a bath," said Gondek.

Gondek also said that the provincial government is being kept apprised and is working with the city to navigate the ongoing situation.

Repair timeframe, break cause both still unknown

Just before 7 p.m., the break caused streets to suddenly flood in the Montgomery area around Home Road, forcing the closure of several roads and intersections, including 16th Avenue in both directions.

The Trans-Canada Highway remained closed from Sarcee Trail to Home Road as of 8 a.m. Thursday morning, and Calgarians are being asked to avoid the area during their morning commute.

"This is a significant break on a critical water main — called a feeder main — that moves water across the city," the city said in a release earlier on Thursday, as the city issued a boil water advisory for the Bowness area at the direction of Alberta Health Services.

Nancy Mackay, director of Water Services with the City of Calgary, said the boil water advisory will be in effect for Bowness until further notice, but the water in all other communities is safe to drink.

The break also affected water pressure in several other areas, including the communities of Parkdale, West Hillhurst, Hillhurst and Scarboro.

"The city has enacted its Municipal Emergency Plan and currently, we do not have an estimate for how long the boil water advisory or the water restrictions will be necessary," the city said in a release Thursday.

The boil water advisory requires all residents and businesses in Bowness to bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before any consumption, including:

  • Drinking.
  • Brushing teeth.
  • Cleaning raw foods.
  • Preparing infant formula or juices.
  • Making ice.

The city could not give an estimate as to when it would be repaired.

The Calgary Board of Education says seven of its schools have been affected. Water has been shut off at:

  • Belvedere Parkway School.
  • Bowcroft School.
  • Bowness High School.
  • Thomas B. Riley School
  • Discovering Choices – Bowness
  • Two Wood's Homes sites

Portable toilets and bottled water is being made available at these sites, the board said.

The water main break in Calgary has also prompted the City of Airdrie to ban all outdoor water use and to strongly encourage indoor water conservation.

With files from Colleen Underwood and Omar Sherif

*****
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

Check Also

This prison inmate in N.L. says a rat gave birth in his pants — but it was no surprise

Inmate Devon Fitzpatrick says a rodent infestation is one of many problems that make living …