Calgary eases outdoor water restrictions

Calgary eases outdoor water restrictions
Calgary eases outdoor water restrictions

Calgary is easing outdoor water restrictions as the city continues to rebuild water infrastructure after a major main break.

The city is moving into stage three water restrictions, meaning Calgarians are now allowed to water their gardens, shrubs and plants outdoors using portable containers or buckets.

Outdoor taps can be used to fill containers, but watering should be done by hand, not with a hose or sprinkler.

The citywide ban on burning has also been lifted.

Calgarians used 492 million litres of water on Friday, which is 18 per cent less than normal for this time of year. Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said that level of usage gave the city enough confidence in its water supply to ease restrictions to stage three.

“In the same way that we asked you to slowly return to normal indoor water use, we ask you to do the same with outdoor water use,” Gondek said.

“We have to get through this phase by phase.”

Washing vehicles or the outside of windows is still not permitted under stage three restrictions.

For companies, irrigation for construction purposes such as dust control, leveling and compaction is permitted.

With high temperatures on the way, city-run outdoor pools and water playgrounds will open as soon as possible.

“Because of these safety concerns, public outdoor pools and water playgrounds have been exempted from stage three restrictions and can reopen beginning today,” said Sue Henry, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

The city expects the spray parks to open at 1 p.m. (Sunday), but three outdoor pools: Highwood Outdoor Pool, South Calgary Outdoor Pool and Millican-Ogden Outdoor Pool, reopened Saturday afternoon.

“The City of Calgary has implemented Stage 3 water restrictions and that means outdoor pools are now open,” said Riley Harper, Executive Director of the Calgary Outdoor Swimming Pools Association.

“People were so excited that they already started coming.”

There are still a few things to be checked off before the remaining outdoor pools can reopen.

“Some of our pools need to be refilled and others still need to undergo a health inspection, but we expect all of our pools to be open on Friday,” Harper said.

The city indicated that filling private backyard pools is still not allowed.

The city will also close water points to residents on Saturday, as Calgary residents can now use water from outdoor taps.

Calgary has been under mandatory stage four water restrictions for the past few weeks as crews work to repair the main line at the break and other sections of the pipe.

Earlier this week, measures to limit indoor water consumption were relaxed.

On June 5, 2024, a 6.5-foot water main burst in Calgary’s northwest Montgomery neighborhood, cutting off the supply of treated water from the smaller of the city’s two treatment plants.