AHS lifts boil water advisory in Calgary community affected by water main break

Stage 4 water restrictions implemented by the City of Calgary remain in place

Alberta Health Services has confirmed that satisfactory water quality has been restored in Calgary's northwest community of Bowness, five days after a water main break closed roads in the area and threatened the water supply for the entire city.

"As water quality has been restored, the boil water advisory issued June 5, 2024, has been lifted, effective immediately," read an AHS statement Monday evening.

The health agency says that all residents and businesses in Bowness can return to normal water consumption practices, and that boiling water is no longer required.

After the water main break occurred last Wednesday, Bowness residents were ordered to boil their water before using it. Other Calgary residents were urged to limit their water use.

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CBC - Calgary water main break - Monty Kruger

A drone shows the spot where a catastrophic water main rupture broke ground, next to a plaza on 16 Ave. N.W., just west of Home Road, on June 5. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Some water usage limitations remain

Stage 4 water restrictions implemented by the City of Calgary remain in place as crews continue to work on repairing the break. Restriction include the prohibition of watering lawns, filling pools and fountains or washing outdoor surfaces, including cars.

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Officials are still asking Calgarians to limit non-essential water use by shortening showers, repairing any leaks on faucets and toilets, and waiting for a full load before running dishwashers or laundry machines.

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In a release, the city said it made changes to deliver safe drinking water from the Bearspaw Water Treatment Plant to Bowness by bypassing the damaged feeder main.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Chris Huston, the manager of the city's drinking water distribution system, said there were hopes the boil water advisory could be lifted soon.

"If you live in Bowness you may have seen some crews out collecting samples and doing some flushing, that's what they're doing right now, to test the water quality," Huston said.

"And then once those samples come back, we'll sit down with Alberta Health Services and decide whether we can lift that advisory."

A break in a major feeder water main that supplies approximately 60 per cent of the city plunged Calgary's water supply into a critical state last week.

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On Sunday, Mayor Jyoti Gondek apologized to Calgary residents, calling the city's efforts to communicate information about the ongoing feeder water main break "slow to come," and "confusing at times."

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This article was originally written by and published for CBC News on Monday, June 10.

Thumbnail image courtesy: Monty Kruger/CBC.

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