With less than two weeks before Calgary Stampede begins on July 5 - the same day for which Calgary city officials are hopeful the repairs to the south Bearspaw water feeder main will also be complete - city officials have said that visitors expected to come to Calgary will be asked to 'live like locals'.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Sue Henry said that a visitor information package has been distributed to Calgary hotels for their use to help spread to word on water conservation.

"We're asking all visitors coming to Calgary to live like a local; to follow the same restrictions and they can say they helped Calgarians while they were visiting our beautiful city," Henry said.

Recently, it was announced that despite the ongoing water restrictions due to the water main break, as well as a prolonged local state of emergency, the Calgary Stampede, one of the city's summer marquee events would go forward.

Officials previously said that historically, water usage has not seen an uptick during the 10-day event, despite thousands of tourists flocking to Calgary, citing that many Calgarians tend to leave the city at the beginning of July for summer holidays, as well as the probability that early July could see increased precipitation in the form of thundershowers.

Henry also said that the two locations on the Bow River which have been open for commercial and construction use to get non-potable water.

"These sites provide non-potable water free of charge for construction work. We have distributed 48,784 litres of water for the construction industry across 13 different trucks that have come by for filling."

It was also announced that starting on Sunday, June 23, there will be a station open for residents to use non-potable water.

"We are opening a station at both Baker Park and the Ogden boat launch for residents to access this non-potable water as well. Residents can come fill up a jug or container of river water that they can use for plants or in their yard," Henry said. "I want to emphasize that river water is not safe for drinking and it is only to be used outdoors, similar to the rain that you've collected in your rain barrels."

As far as water usage is concerned, on Friday morning Mayor Gondek said that 462 million litres of water was used. Water usage has been steadily increasing in the past several days.

"We're below the threshold and I know we can do better. We have had days where we're at about 440 million litres used and so I understand I'm asking a lot; but if we can just reduce our consumption a little bit, that would just give us that little bit of extra supply that we need to have.... We've been at this water-saving thing for two weeks now and there are about two weeks to go. We can do this."

Repair updates

City of Calgary Infrastructure Services General Manager Michael Thompson said that crews have completed removing all the damaged pipes in four of the five hotspots and have taken them off-site for further analysis.

"The reinforcing steel is being installed at the location of the pipe that will not be replaced due to the thrust block... The sandblasting and coding of the replacement pipes are nearing completion and the pipes will be delivered to the site when ready for installation," he said.

Thompson said that on Saturday, crews were focused on welding the adapters required at the locations where they are replacing the pipe.

"The adapters are used to connect the existing pipe to the new steel pipe sections. The welding work will continue throughout the weekend until the new pipes are installed. I'm pleased that we were making positive progress at all of the repair locations and remain on schedule."

Airdrie offers non-potable water to residents

The City of Airdrie announced on Friday that it has set up non-potable water tanks for watering plants, flowers and gardens at the Airdrie Recycle Depot.

With weekend temperatures expected to be in the mid-20s, The City has said that the non-potable water station is meant to help residents with their gardening needs.

Residents are asked to bring their own buckets—up to five gallons—and fill them using the hose attached to the tanks. The non-potable water is for residential use only.

"This water is for plants, flower and garden use only. It is not safe for drinking or household use," The City underlined.

It also added that city crews will be doing some dust suppression and street sweeping work this weekend to maintain community safety. However, the water used for this is trucked in from other communities.

"Our community’s efforts to reduce water usage are paying off. [On] June 20, we saw a 26 per cent drop in water usage compared to normal levels before the outdoor water restrictions," city officials added.

Airdrie's Recycle Depot is located at 21 East Lake Hill. The Depot is open Wednesday to Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Monday and Tuesday.

Airdrie and Calgary remain under water restrictions and fire ban

Airdrie and Calgary remain under water restrictions and a fire ban. Genesis Place pool and aquatics facilities will remain closed until and including July 1.

"Ice-arena activities resumed over the weekend. The water used to maintain the City’s ice arenas is being supplied from sources outside the Calgary water main break impacted region via a water truck," officials added.

Under level four water restrictions, all outdoor water use is temporarily banned, and indoor water conservation is strongly encouraged. Under level four water restrictions, residents cannot:

  • Water lawns, gardens, trees, shrubs and flowers by any method other than rainwater.
  • Wash down any outdoor surfaces, including exterior building surfaces, windows, sidewalks, driveways, or walkways of any sort unless your business requires them to for health and safety reasons.
  • Wash cars on driveways or streets.
  • Fill outdoor decorative features, fountains, pools, or hot tubs.
  • Use potable water for construction purposes such as grading, compaction, or dust control.

No boil water advisories are in effect within the City of Airdrie, and water remains safe to drink.

"To ensure we share the water currently available, we are asking Airdrie residents to immediately restrict indoor water use by taking the following voluntary actions:"

  • Use dishwasher and washing machine only when required and with full loads.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Limit showers to five minutes or less and keep baths shallow.
  • Scrape plates clean rather than rinsing food off.
  • Turn off humidifiers and ice machines, delay washing vehicles,
  • Businesses using large volumes of non-essential water, such as laundromats and car washes, are asked to reduce water use.
  • Businesses that use water to deliver a life-sustaining product or service for people and animals are exempt. Other exemptions include businesses using water to meet health code standards, such as health centres and restaurants.

"The fire ban will remain in effect until repairs to the broken water main pipe in Calgary are made and normal water consumption can resume," The City stated on June 6.

An Alberta Emergency Alert advisory remains in place for Calgary, Airdrie, Strathmore, and Chestermere.

"... Supply levels remain in a critical state, affecting the city's ability to provide water to communities and ensure adequate water is available to support emergency fire suppression."

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