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Calgarians allowed to water by hand, some pools open as city eases outdoor restrictions


Calgary is easing outdoor water restrictions as the city continues work to help its water infrastructure recover following a major feeder main break.

The city is moving to stage three water restrictions, which means Calgarians are now allowed to water their gardens, shrubs and plants outdoors using handheld containers or buckets.

Outdoor taps can be used to fill containers, but the watering must be done by hand, as opposed to using a hose or sprinkler.

The city-wide fire ban has also been lifted.

Calgarians used 492 million litres of water on Friday, which is 18 per cent less than usual for this time of year. Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said that level of usage gave the city enough confidence in its water supply to ease restrictions down to stage three.

“In the same way we asked you to ease back into typical indoor water usage, we are asking you to please do the same with outdoor water usage,” Gondek said.

“We need to get through this one stage at a time.”

Washing of vehicles or exterior windows is still not allowed under stage three restrictions.

For businesses, watering for construction purposes – such as dust control, grading and compaction – is allowed.

With hot temperatures on the way, city-run outdoor pools and spray parks will be opening as soon as possible.

“For that safety concern, public outdoor pools and spray parks have received an exemption from stage three restrictions and will begin to be able to reopen as of today,” Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Sue Henry said.

The city expects spray parks to open 1 p.m. (on Sunday) but three outdoor pools; Highwood Outdoor Pool, South Calgary Outdoor Pool and Millican-Ogden Outdoor Pool reopened Saturday afternoon.

"Stage 3 water restrictions have been implemented by the City of Calgary and so what that means is outdoor swimming pools are now open,” says Riley Harper, Calgary Outdoor Swimming Pools Association Executive Director.

"People were very excited they've already started to start coming."

There are still a few more items to check off the list before the remaining outdoor pools can reopen.

"Some of our pools need to be topped up, and some are waiting on health inspections, but we are anticipating that all our pools will be open by Friday," says Harper.

The city noted that private, backyard pools are still not allowed to be filled.

The city will also be closing its residential water pick-up locations on Saturday, as Calgarians can now use water from outdoor taps.

Calgary was placed under mandatory stage four water restrictions for the past few weeks as crews worked to repair the feeder main at the break site and other parts of the pipe.

Indoor water reduction measures were eased earlier this week.

On June 5, 2024, a 78-inch feeder main broke in Calgary's northwest community of Montgomery, cutting off the supply of treated water from the smaller of the city's two treatment plants. Top Stories

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