Calgary water restrictions extended amid critical feeder main repairs

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CaDCR staff writer

Water use restrictions are expected to remain in place into next week across Calgary, as repairs continue on a critical water feeder main pipe break near 16th Avenue and Home Road N.W.

“We remain completely focused on these repairs and the next steps in restoring water flow through this feeder main as fast as possible,” said Water Services Director Nancy Mackay. “We know the restrictions are an inconvenience. I want to sincerely thank everyone for your patience and for your continued support.”

New steel pipe arrived Wednesday and the pipe installation was expected to take two days before flushing and testing – at least another five days. The 23.5-foot new steel pipe was disinfected Wednesday morning while crews were working on welding repairs for some of the access hatches along the pipe, according to water services director Nancy Mackay.

Crews were working on welding repairs on some of the access hatches and the new section of pipe was completely disinfected before it was lowered into place.

“The big job now is welding the new pipe into place and welding the metal ring that goes around the new pipe to connect it to the existing pipe,” the city explained in an update. “Once welding of the pipe is complete, we will continue to apply protective coating on the pipe to prevent corrosion.

City crews are also assessing damage that happened when the water flowed from the feeder main break and into Shouldice Park.

“Once the welding of the pipe is completed, we’ll continue to apply a protective coating on the pipe — and take some measures to prevent corrosion,” she said. “We’re working, again, 24/7 on all those steps I just described so that we can get that repair done.”

The water main ruptured June 5 in Montgomery, reducing the city’s water supply and led the city to implement Stage 4 water restrictions and a citywide fire ban.

“This feeder main breaking has put us in a water gridlock — we cannot get 60 per cent of the water that we typically flow through this pipe out into our various communities,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek said Wednesday.

Metal wires within the pipe – which was 49 years into its 100-year lifespan “snapped,” leaving no structural integrity and allowing water to gush out in one big event, officials said.

Prior to the break, “there was no indication that the section of pipe was being stressed.”

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