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Repairs on damaged water pipes on track to be finished by Calgary Stampede

Click to play video: 'Calgary mayor says cutting, removal of damaged pipe completed yesterday'
Calgary mayor says cutting, removal of damaged pipe completed yesterday
WATCH: Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said in a Saturday morning update that she had “excellent news” regarding the ongoing repairs of damaged pipes, after a water main break prompted restrictions and a local state of emergency – Jun 22, 2024

Calgary officials remain confident the repair work to fix the damaged water lines, prompting restrictions and a local state of emergency, will be completed by the start of the Calgary Stampede.

The city has been under water restrictions for more than two weeks since the catastrophic break in the water main in Bowness on June 5. Then, during that repair, five additional sections that needed repair – so-called “hot spots” – were uncovered.

During a Friday afternoon update, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the preparation work on the replacement pipes is almost completed, including sandblasting and coating the pipes.

“Things are looking pretty good for us to hit that 5th of July timeframe,” Gondek said. The Calgary Stampede runs July 5 to 14.

“Crews are continuing with cutting and removing the existing damaged pipe and this will be completed by the end of the day (Friday),” said the city’s infrastructure manager Michael Thompson.

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Click to play video: 'Calgary water emergency: City considered water main to be in good condition before break'
Calgary water emergency: City considered water main to be in good condition before break

Thompson added there was visible damage to the outside of one of the pipe sections.

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“We’re not sure what caused the damage… There’s a number of things that may have caused it.”

Thompson said all the removed pipes will be put into storage, and they will be analyzed during an upcoming third-party review.

Officials also revealed that the local state of emergency that was first declared on June 15 has been extended.

“We renewed it to continue to support operations to help us get through the critical stages these repairs,” said Calgary Emergency Management chief Sue Henry.

Gondek said the city used 460 million litres of water on Thursday, extending the streak of meeting the water usage target to six days.

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“Since the start of this water main break, we’ve saved two billion… litres of water compared to our typical usage at this time of year.”

Gondek has also promised a wide-ranging examination of the city’s underground infrastructure and will be asking council to ensure it has the budget to provide a clear picture of the city’s water system.

She added the city will take offers of help from the Alberta and federal governments.

Since the pipe break on June 5, Calgarians have been asked to reduce their water use by a quarter as repairs are conducted to the main, which carried 60 per cent of the city’s water.

During those repairs, crews found another five spots in the pipe that were nearing failure.

Two workers have also been injured, with one remaining under his doctor’s care and the other back on the job.

– with files from The Canadian Press

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