While a boil water advisory that had been issued last week for a northwest Calgary neighbourhood has now been lifted, the city continues to face water supply concerns as crews respond to a significant water main break that happened last week.

In a news release issued Monday night, Alberta Health Services said it had rescinded a boil water advisory that had been in place for the Bowness neighbourhood for several days.

“As water quality has been restored, the boil water advisory issued June 5, 2024, has been lifted, effective immediately,” the health authority said.

A water main break occurred in the Montgomery neighbourhood on Wednesday and resulted in the boil water advisory being issued for Bowness. As a result of the break, Calgarians were also 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.

Local officials are scheduled to speak at a news conference planned for 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Mayor Jyoti Gondek will be joined at the event by Nancy Mackay, the city’s water services director, and Susan Henry, the chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

Gondek delivered a brief on-camera statement about the situation on Tuesday morning. She began by describing the lifting of the boil water advisory in Bowness as “incredibly good news for the people and businesses in that community.”

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The mayor said Calgarians across the city need to continue to persevere when it comes to efforts to conserve water.

“The feeder main has not been repaired yet,” she noted. “So you and I need to make sure that we’re not using any outdoor water and inside our homes we need to stick with limiting shower times, toilet flushes and dishwasher and laundry loads.

“We’ve all done really well so far over the past five days. And thanks to your diligence, we remain under the daily maximum threshold of 480 million litres of consumption.”

Gondek said preliminary data indicates that Calgarians used 472 million litres of water on Monday, which is up from the weekend.

She reminded Calgarians that “the most optimistic scenario that we were offered on the weekend was that we might have the feeder main repaired in five to seven days.”

Gondek added that even after repairs, there will need to be flushes and tests.

“That means several more days of all of us being low water users,” she said, adding that on Monday morning, the city’s supply was at about 616 million litres.

Gondek revealed that a small water main break, not believed to be related to last week’s incident, was reported in Bowness on Monday. While she said there are about 200 water main breaks a year in Calgary, hearing of the one in Bowness on Monday was “another blow” for the community and impacted several households.

In a news release issued late Monday afternoon, city officials said crews are “advancing on work to repair … (the) large feeder main break.”

They said crews had already removed a section of damaged pipe, and the removal of two more was underway. They added that video was being reviewed to help understand the extent of the damage.

A timeline for completing the repair and to lift the water restrictions is still being worked on.

“I want to thank the crews, engineers and other dedicated staff we have working 24/7 to repair the Bearspaw South Feedermain and restore normal water supply across our city,” Mackay said.

“We are very grateful to Calgarians and local businesses who have been so patient as we work on these repairs. Your actions to reduce water use are making it possible for us to do this critical work.”

For the latest updates from the City of Calgary, you can follow the city’s social media channels or click on its website here.

For the latest Alberta Emergency Alerts, you can click on the province’s website here.