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Mayor thanks Calgary for saving water again after usage slowly increased last week

Mayor thanks Calgary for saving water again after usage slowly increased last week

CALGARY — A day after Mayor Jyoti Gondek criticized some Calgary residents for appearing to neglect water conservation while the city worked to get a broken main back up and running, he thanked residents for their improved work.

CALGARY — A day after Mayor Jyoti Gondek criticized some Calgary residents for appearing to neglect water conservation while the city worked to get a broken main back up and running, he thanked residents for their improved work.

Gondek said in an online update Saturday that the city used 460 million liters of water on Friday, which she said is 23 percent of what the city normally uses.

It was a different story on Friday, when Gondek warned that daily water usage had been rising all week, with water consumption hitting 500 million gallons on Thursday — the highest since the city imposed its mix of voluntary and mandatory restrictions.

She reiterated the importance of saving water so that there is sufficient water available for the fire brigade and hospitals.

The ruptured pipeline and five other problem areas have been repaired and crews were scheduled to finish pumping millions of gallons of water through 2.8 miles of replacement pipe by Friday evening.

Gondek says filling of the supply line has been completed and crews flushed the system Saturday, which will be followed by Alberta Health Services testing the water and a gradual return to normal pressure.

“If you’ve ever had an invasive surgery or know someone who has had one, you know that after the final stitches are done, there is still post-operative care,” Gondek said in Saturday’s video.

“Just because you got stitches doesn’t mean the journey is over.”

She said the worksites have now been ‘bonded’, filled and paved and that water crews are now carrying out ‘after-care after the operation’.

Michael Thompson, Calgary’s general manager of infrastructure services, told a news conference later Saturday that acoustic and pressure measurements had not identified any problem areas on the pipeline, but that problems could still arise once flushing is completed and crews restore pressure to the system.

“We are proceeding cautiously and carefully. Our team continues to monitor everything closely and is prepared to respond if we encounter any setbacks,” Thompson said.

Gondek said as part of the flushing process, people can see water flowing from fire hydrants and valves. She said the water is dechlorinated before being pumped back into the river system.

On Saturday, she also noted that the turnaround time for water quality testing is 24 hours.

Nearly every day since the pipe burst on June 5, Gondek has asked the 1.6 million residents of Calgary and surrounding communities to reduce their indoor water use by flushing their toilets less often, taking three-minute showers and doing less laundry.

Outdoor water use is prohibited. Residents are encouraged to rely on rainwater for their gardens.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2024.

The Canadian Press