Calgary eases from Stage 4 to Stage 3 outdoor water restrictions

The City of Calgary is easing its outdoor water use restrictions, as its water supply outlook continues to improve.

In an update on Saturday, Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the city was shifting from Stage 4 to Stage 3 outdoor water use restrictions, effective immediately.

Calgarians can once again start watering their gardens and outdoor plants, but only using handheld containers or buckets.

Residents can use an outdoor tap or hose to fill a container, but only hand watering is allowed under Stage 3 restrictions.

Watering using a sprinkler or hose is not permitted.

Washing exterior windows or a car at home is also not allowed, the mayor said.

"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," said Gondek.

"We need to get through this one phase at a time."

Outdoor pools and spray parks are now exempt from outdoor restrictions, and clear to reopen as soon as possible, city officials also announced on Saturday.

"Our city teams are working hard to bring our services back online," said Sue Henry, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

"Some City of Calgary spray parks should be open by 1 p.m. tomorrow. However, outdoor wading and community pools will take a bit more prep time."

Henry said residents can visit the city's website for up-to-date timelines on the reopening of city pools.

The city is still not allowing people to fill up their private backyard pools.

The City of Calgary says crews reached the damaged section of the feeder water main on Friday and have begun clearing water, dirt and debris to assess the site of the leak.
The City of Calgary has eased outdoor water use restrictions introduced after a catastrophic feeder main break in the city's northwest. (Fritzology Inc./City of Calgary)

Fire ban lifted

Officials also announced the citywide fire ban has been lifted.

"With more capacity in the system, the Calgary Fire Department is confident we have enough water supply for emergencies," said Henry.

Residents can again use fire pits, open fires and solid-fuel barbecues.

Water system inching back to normal

The Bearspaw south feeder main has been brought back up to 55 per cent capacity, according to the city.

Crews haven't detected any issues, as they continue to gradually increase the amount of water flowing through the main line, said Gondek.

"The water system is up and walking, but it's not ready to run yet," she said.

"I'm asking again for your patience and understanding."

Gondek said the city plans to continue easing out of outdoor water use restrictions but did not offer a timeline for the transition to stage two restrictions.