Water main break repairs halted due to worker injuries, says Calgary mayor

2 people taken to hospital; neither is in critical condition

Work to fix a critical water main break that has triggered outdoor water restrictions has been stalled due to injuries on the work site on Wednesday night, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said during an 8:30 a.m. update on Thursday morning.

"Our hearts are heavy with the news of these injuries this morning," Gondek said.

The injured workers were taken to hospital and neither is in critical condition.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is working with the city to investigate, the mayor said. She said work on the feeder main is not expected to resume until later on Thursday afternoon.

The Bearspaw south water main, which is 11 kilometres long and as wide as two metres in parts, suffered a break on June 5 that temporarily left hundreds of homes and businesses in the city's northwest without water.

In an update on Wednesday officials said Calgarians can expect water restrictions to continue into mid-next week.

Content continues below

"I now must ask you to do more on your water conservation to support those that are working to restore our safe water supply," Gondek said Thursday morning.

Gondek said on Wednesday, water consumption crept up again, this time by nine million litres, taking the city far above the safe threshold.

Water supply is also lower than it has been over the past few days.

"This morning, we are at a place where we don't have enough of a cushion for emergencies," Gondek said. That includes things like use in hospitals and for firefighting.

Mandatory Stage 4 water restrictions that were implemented when the feeder main first broke are still in place and the city is still under a fire ban that extends to propane and gas fires.

On Wednesday, a new section for the feeder main pipe was lowered into place.

Content continues below

The boil water advisory for Bowness was lifted on Monday but some residents in the community were left without water again on Tuesday because of a separate water main break at 85th Street and 46th Avenue northwest.

Another update is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Thumbnail image courtesy of the City of Calgary.

This article was originally published in CBC News.