Indoor water use can return to normal in Calgary and area, says mayor

City officials say that Calgarians can begin easing their indoor water conservation measures as the water supply begins its return to normal. (CBC - image credit)
City officials say that Calgarians can begin easing their indoor water conservation measures as the water supply begins its return to normal. (CBC - image credit)

Indoor water use can now return to normal in Calgary and neighbouring communities, the city's mayor announced Tuesday.

But Jyoti Gondek is still urging residents to ease back into their regular water-use habits as crews work to fully stabilize the system.

"The reductions that you have been doing at home are not needed anymore," Gondek said.

"You can return to using water inside your home the way that you were used to; we are asking that people ease into this, though."

In a regular update on Tuesday morning, Gondek said this marks the first step toward completely restoring the water supply and lifting remaining restrictions.

However, the city remains under a state of local emergency and outdoor Stage 4 water restrictions remain in place as crews determine how the system will respond to the easing of indoor conservation measures.

"We're not completely out of the woods yet," said Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver.

The City of Calgary's general manager of infrastructure services Michael Thompson said the Bearspaw south feeder main is operating at 50 per cent capacity for now.

"Things like car washes will be reopening today, indoor pools will be reopening today," said Thompson, adding the city is reaching out to those partners now.

He said that crews will be measuring how the pipe reacts to turning on more pumps in the coming days to understand when the remaining restrictions can be lifted.

Officials said they will have more information on businesses and facilities that use water later today during the city's afternoon update.

Gondek also added that the state of local emergency expires on Thursday, and the city will review whether to renew or lift it.

More to come...