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With work progressing on schedule at the site of a water feeder main break, an overnight fire punctuates the importance of water conservation.

We are relieved that there were no injuries as the result of the two-alarm fire at a 48-unit, four-storey complex in Prestwick and that our fire crews had the necessary water to combat the blaze.

“My thoughts are with the many people displaced from their homes. This is a sober reminder of why our water conservation is so important,” said Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Susan Henry.

“As a result of the fire, we were able to see an impact on our system. The community is supplied out of South Glenmore Reservoir, and with the help of water crews, we were able to maintain levels in that reservoir to an acceptable level throughout the night. The water saving efforts that everyone has made allowed us to respond to this large fire and still have adequate storage to continue supporting other essential uses.”

Calgary Fire Dept. Acting Chief Deb Bergeson said the fire required three million litres of water to bring under control.

“We would like to thank those that have been conserving water,” said Bergeson.

City of Calgary Infrastructure Services General Manager Michael Thompson said significant progress at the work sites was made over the weekend. Pipes are being welded at the sites that required the new pipe and the concrete is curing and the forms are being removed at the site where the repair was being completed, rather than replaced. Backfilling the excavations is scheduled to begin tomorrow at one of the sites. The others will follow shortly thereafter.

“This will be a critical week for our crews as we begin the testing and return to service process,” said Thompson. “Our teams are working on all of the necessary steps to fill the feeder main including, flushing the system to clean the pipes, conducting water quality testing and then stabilizing the system before water use can start to return to normal.”

Non-potable options remain available for Calgarians.

Two commercial pick-up sites for non-potable river water, one at West Baker Park and the other in Ogden, remain open for businesses doing work that requires dust control, compacting of dirt or gravel surfaces and establishing new landscaping projects. These businesses picked up approximately 142,459 litres on Sunday.

We have expanded our program to make non-potable river water available to all Calgarians. It can be picked up free of charge at the following locations:

· Ogden boat launch

· West Baker Park boat launch

· Bishop O’Bryne High School

· The Genesis Centre

· Ambrose University

· Spy Hill Landfill

This water can be used for garden vegetables, flowers, outdoor and indoor plants. Please wash your vegetables thoroughly before consuming. This water can also be used for handwashing, if it is boiled for one minute, and cleaning, but not for surfaces or dishes in contact with food.

You must bring your own container to hold the water so choose your container wisely. Water is heavy and our City staff are not permitted to load containers into your vehicle for safety reasons. We are reminding all Calgarians that the water pumped from the river is non-potable and not safe for drinking.


Sunday’s water use for the Calgary area was 467 million litres, a slight uptick from Saturday. Calgarians were able to keep their water usage at 22 per cent below typical use despite the hot weather. Thank you Calgary for stepping up and doing your part, the water you are saving leaves enough for critical uses like firefighting and hospitals.


To date we have received more than 8,781 calls to 311 about this emergency. We encourage Calgarians to use the 311 app or to make your service requests.

We continue following up on calls to 311 for water misuse. Since the event began, we have received 2,620 calls, the majority of those have been resolved. We have issued 17 violation tickets.

A fire ban remains in effect for the City of Calgary. We’ve received a total of 209 calls. There have been 21 written warnings, 81 verbal warnings and we have issued five violation tickets.


Access to all businesses in the area is currently being maintained and Bowness and Montgomery businesses are open. We encourage you to shop locally and where possible, plan your route ahead of time to account for any delays.

The following traffic impacts will be in effect until the completion of the feeder main repairs:

· Westbound lanes along 16 Avenue N.W. from 49 Street N.W. to Home Road have reopened. Eastbound lanes are open.

· 16 Avenue N.W. will be closed in both directions from 46 Street N.W. and 45 Street N.W.

· 16 Avenue N.W. will be closed in both directions from 43 Street N.W. to Bowness Road N.W.

· East/West traffic will be detoured onto Bowness Road. Expect delays.

· Eastbound detour starts at 46 Street to Bowness Road and re-enters 16 Avenue at the Shaganappi Trail interchange

To see up-to-date traffic incidents, cameras or construction please visit

To learn more about interruptions to City services (including pools and arenas), a resource of frequently asked questions and the latest updates, visit or contact 311.

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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