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Broken Calgary water main was in 'good' condition: Gondek

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Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek says the main problem hasn't been fixed, but some ingenuity by the city's water services department helped supply Bowness with some safe drinking water.

Alberta Health Services lifted the boil water advisory on Monday evening after city crews diverted treated water being produced at the Bearspaw treatment facility to the neighbourhood.

Despite the good news, Gondek says the city is under outdoor water restrictions.

"I'm still encouraging people to reduce their water use indoors, the Bowness water solution is not a result of the feeder main being repaired," she told CTV News on Tuesday morning.

Last Wednesday, a 78-inch pipe, built from layers of concrete and steel, burst and flooded a large section of Montgomery, knocking out water services for thousands of residents in Bowness.

Over the weekend, crews managed to excavate the pipe and repairs have been ongoing ever since.

Gondek says the work is expected to continue until at least Saturday, with water restrictions also expected to stay in place until that work is complete.

"That's the bare minimum time frame," she said. "The crews have been working hard, they've lifted out chunks of the old pipe and they're actively working to get the replacement put in."

Once the repairs are complete, Gondek says it could take a little bit longer before everything returns to normal for Calgarians.

"There is a process in which they need to treat the sealing of the pipe then they need to do the flushing and testing to make sure the pipe is good to go," she said.

Gondek says she isn't sure how much time will be needed to restore the 23 reservoirs of treated water throughout Calgary.

Crews are also currently working to inspect the pipes in an attempt to find out what happened and take care of any vulnerabilities.

"I can tell you that this type of infrastructure has a 100-year lifespan, so we're only at 50 years right now and there was no way to anticipate this break would happen," Gondek said.

"Crews are working to determine what did happen."

She says the vast majority of pipes in Calgary are in good or very good condition and the affected pipe was in "good" condition.

"It had some maintenance work done to add a little bit of technology, like air valves, to make sure it was going to move into the future in a good way."

Gondek said the feeder main will also be worked on in the fall.

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