A northwest Calgary neighbourhood that was issued a boil water advisory after a massive water main break wants the citizens to know it is still welcoming shoppers and people wanting to eat in the community’s restaurants.

Jacqui Esler, the executive director of the Mainstreet Bowness Business Improvement Area, told Global News that she wants Calgarians to realize “Bowness is open” even as the boil water advisory remains in place.

“We need to support local,” she said on Monday, adding that local businesses have consulted with Alberta Health Services to ensure they are able to be open and following the proper guidance as the situation drags on.

Esler acknowledged she is a “little worried” to hear that it could still be seven days or even more until the water main situation is resolved.

“We have a long way to go. It’s only Monday,” she said, noting that businesses still need to pay staff, taxes, utilities and suppliers.

Esler recalled how she found out what was happening on Wednesday when the break happened.

“Way before the world knew about it, these (Bowness) businesses knew because their water had been turned off,” she said. “(It) was weird because it was a nice day, it wasn’t cold, and then I thought, ‘Hmm, what’s going on?’

“Bowness’ main street was quiet, … (and) Montogmery was busy. So I thought, ‘Oh dear, what’s happening.’

“Things were happening so fast.”

Cameron Bury is a kitchen manager at Leopold’s Tavern in Bowness.

“It’s been a struggle,” he told Global News on Monday. “We made the decision to close on Thursday, mostly just out of a conservation effort.”

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He said the time the eatery was closed allowed staff to come up with a plan for how to operate as the boil water advisory remains in place. He added that the establishment is following all AHS guidelines.

“It was probably for the best (that we temporarily closed) given that we had a couple of extra hurdles to work through,” Bury said. “We’re just blessed to be able to be open and still be operating.

“Definitely a little bit quieter than we’re used to, especially for a nice weekend.”

The water main break happened in the Montgomery neighbourhood on Wednesday night. As a result of the break, Calgarians across the city were asked to stop using water outdoors and do their best to minimize indoor water use.

City officials have described the broken feeder main as a “critical water transmission line.” They note the damage has “severely impacted” Calgary’s water supply and the ability to move water across the city and have warned that without conservation efforts from Calgarians, supply may not be able to meet demand.

On Sunday evening, the city provided an update and said crews continue efforts to repair a large feeder main break near 16th Avenue and Home Road Northwest.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek offered an update on the city’s water usage on Monday morning as supply concerns continue.

She said Calgarians have been doing an “incredible” job of heeding the guidance of emergency officials, noting that Calgarians used 457 million litres of water on Sunday, down from about 650 million litres on Wednesday.

Gondek noted the figures she was disclosing are “preliminary” and have yet to be confirmed, but called the figures a “very good news story.”

“You can see that you’re using much less,” she said. “Keep this up.”

Gondek said the supply currently available to Calgary is about 620 million litres but reminded Calgarians the city needs to have extra supply so firefighters can do their jobs and in case of emergencies or unforeseen situations.

The mayor did not offer to take questions from reporters but was expected to attend a news conference with local emergency officials on Monday afternoon.

For more information on boil water advisories, you can visit the Alberta Health Services website by clicking here.