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Frozen water line issues - March 2019

Frozen pipes – Non-potable water refills available March 18, 2019

As we continue working to thaw frozen water pipes for some of our customers, we have arranged locations where citizens impacted by frozen pipes can get non-potable water for use in their homes for things like washing dishes and flushing toilets.

You can now bring containers for refills to Fire Station 5 and Station 10, as well as some recreation facilities across the city.

In most cases, our staff will supervise water refills, so we ask that people be patient as they may need to wait until staff are available to assist them in getting water.

View a list of available water re-fill locations and times below. You can also download and print there-fill locations and hours list.

Facility Address Hours Comments Water source
Norma Bush Arena 2424 University Dr NW 6:30 am - 11 pm See staff in main office - site cell listed on door if staff aren't in the office Flood room
Thornhill Aquatic & Recreation Centre 6715 Centre Street NW M-Th 6am-10pm Fri 6am-7:30pm
Sat/Sun 8am-3:30 pm
Please see staff at aquatic front desk for assistance
Janitor Room
Killarney Aquatic & Recreation Centre 1919 - 29 Street SW M-Th 6am-10pm
Fri 6 am - 9 pm
S/Sun 8am-4pm
Signage to direct public to janitor room Janitor Room
Optimist/George Blundun Arenas 5020 - 26 Ave SW 6 am - 11 pm Signage to direct public to meeting room/janitor room Meeting Room Kitchen or Janitor Room
Shouldice Aquatic Centre 5303 Bowness Road NW Mon-Thur 5:30am-9:30pm
Fri 5:30am -8pm
Sat/Sun 7am-3pm
See staff at front desk for assistance Janitor Room
Shouldice Arena 1515 Home Road NW Mon-Fri 6am-10pm
Sat/Sun 6am -6pm
See staff in main office - site cell listed on door if staff are not in the office Janitor Room
Sir Winston Churchill Aquatic and Recreation Centre 1520 Northmount Drive NW M-Th 6am-10pm
Fri 6am-8:30pm
S/Sun 7am-3:30pm
See staff at front desk for assistance Janitor Room
North Mount Pleasant Art Centre 523 - 27 Ave NW M-F 9am-9:30 pm
S/Sun 9am-5pm
See staff in main office - staff will direct public to available water supply Studios and Kitchen
Wildflower Arts Centre 3363 Spruce Drive SW M-F 8:30a -4:30p See main office for staff assistance Custodian Room
Stew Hendry/Henry Viney Arenas 814 - 13 Ave NW 6 am - 12 pm Signage on site will direct to rear of building for access Flood Room
Max Bell Centre 1001 Barlow Trail SE 7 am - 11 pm Signage to direct public to sink located in first aid room First Aid Room
Inglewood Pool 1527 - 17 Ave SE MWF 6am- 8pm
T/TH 8am- 8pm
S/Sun 9am-3pm
Signage to direct public to sink in staff kitchen Janitor Room
Calgary Soccer Centre 7000 - 48 St SE 8 am-11 pm Signage to direct public to janitor room in Annex Janitor Room
Village Square Leisure Centre 2623 - 56 Street NE M-F: 6am-10pm
Sat: 8am-10pm
Sun: 8am-8pm
Public goes to Customer Service desk to contact arena staff
Bob Bahan Aquatic & Fitness Centre 4812 - 14 Ave SE M-Th 6am-9 pm
Fri 6am-8pm
Sa/Su 7am-3pm
Signage to contact pool staff for access Janitor Room
Ernie Starr Arena 4808 - 14 Ave SE 8 am - 11 pm Signage to contact arena staff for access Janitor Room
Southland Leisure Centre 2000 Southland Dr SE 5:30am-9:30pm Staff at front counter will direct public to janitor room Janitor Room
Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre 89 Canova Road SW M-F 530am-10p
Sa/Su 8am-4 pm
Signage to direct public to sink in janitor room; smaller pails can be filled in lobby sink Janitor Room/Lobby Sink
Frank McCool Arena 1900 Lake Bonavista Dr SE 6:30 - 11:30 pm Signage to direct public to janitor room Janitor Room
Glenmore Aquatic Centre 5330 - 19 Street SW 6 am-10 pm Signage to direct public to janitor room Janitor Room
Stu Peppard Arena 5300 - 19 Street SW 6 am-10 pm Signage to direct public to janitor room Janitor Room
Acadia Aquatic & Fitness Centre 9009 Fairmount Dr SE M-Th 5:30am-9:30 pm Fri 5:30am-8pm
S/Sun 7:30 am-3:30pm
Signage to direct public to janitor room Janitor Room
Rose Kohn/Jimmie Condon Arenas 502 Heritage Dr SW 6am-10pm Signage to direct public to janitor room.
Contact staff via cell phone number posted
Janitor Room

What should I do if I have no water? Are my pipes frozen?

Call 311 to report it. Once The City is notified of an issue, one of our external contractors will be in touch so they can come to your house to conduct an initial assessment.

If it’s a frozen water service (on city property) a City staff member will contact you to arrange delivery of a customer care package which includes drinking quality, non-potable water for flushing toilets and shower passes at Calgary Recreation facilities.

Why are so many Calgarians experiencing frozen pipes?

With extended extreme winter temperatures, frost levels have moved to unusual depths of 2.5 to 3 metres (8 to 10 feet). Since this is the depth where water utilities are located, we’re experiencing a significant amount of frozen water services.

Is this situation unique to Calgary?

No. Many prairie communities experience frozen pipes every winter simply because of our climate.

What is The City doing to address this situation?

City crews are working extended hours and ramping up resources to work through the service requests (calls to 311) and help impacted customers as fast as possible.

Is The City doing anything to help me while I don’t have water in my home?

The City has made arrangements to ensure you have access to water. 

For those experiencing frozen water services, we are distributing customer care packages that include potable water for drinking and cooking, non-potable water for flushing toilets, as well as Calgary Recreation facility passes so they have access to shower facilities.

Impacted by a water main break? Check the status of water main breaks and outages.

How long will it take to for my water to be restored?

Because of the volume of frozen services and water main breaks, City crews have a backlog of repairs to address. We are looking at all reported incidents and addressing them on a priority basis.

Timelines vary due to the nature of the work. Complex situations could take longer than one week. Each incident is unique. Crews are doing their best to restore service as soon as possible.

Why does it take so long to repair pipes?

There are many factors to pipe repair including age, type, soil conditions, etc. Additionally, excavating through frost makes it more time consuming. Because of the unique nature of each incident, the time it takes to thaw a pipe can range anywhere from two hours to upwards of 12 hours.

How do I prevent my pipes from freezing?

If you’ve experienced frozen pipes in the past (you have been on our Frozen Pipe Prevention Program, have experienced a frozen service, or have received temporary house-to-house lines), it is mandatory that you keep a full stream of water running in your household at all times.

Please keep the water running 24/7 and do so until further instructions from The City. This will prevent freezing or re-freezing. Only those instructed by The City to run water, will have their water bill adjusted.

General tips for homeowners include programming your dishwasher to run when you’re not home, and insulating pipes and areas containing pipes.

I’m leaving on vacation and I don’t know what to do about running my water – what do I do?

Whenever we shut the water off, there is a risk of water lines re-freezing. Check in with your insurance to see what the requirements are while you’re away.

If you decide to shut off your water, please understand we cannot guarantee that your line will not freeze while you are away.

I’m on a temporary line with my neighbor but I’m leaving on vacation and I don’t know what to do about running my water – what do I do?

Whenever we shut the water off, there is a risk of water lines freezing.

You have two options: One is to keep the water running as instructed and have someone check on your home. It’s important that you check in with your insurance company to see what the requirements are while you’re away.

Your other option is to have your neighbor turn off the water to their outside tap, then disconnect the house and drain it, leaving it disconnected while you are away. When you are back, flush the line by running some water through it before reconnecting. The City is unable to support disconnecting and reconnecting the temporary hose.

How can I get an update on the status of my service request?

We are committed to keeping you informed of how work is progressing to resolve your water issues. Once you have have been visited by our contractor/plumber, someone from The City will reach out to you.

I have temporary water service connected to my house but now I don’t have enough water pressure to run a shower. Can I turn down the stream of my constant run?

You can turn it down but should turn it back up after your shower to prevent the line from freezing. If you have a shower in the basement you might have more water pressure there.

I have my temporary water service set up but now I don’t have hot water. What can I do?

This may happen if there is a valve or other type of isolation that prevents the water from going into the hot water tank. You could have a plumber inspect to see if there is anyway correct the problem.

My house is vacant, is it safe to run my water?

We do recommend you continue running water to prevent the service from freezing. You’ll want to have someone check on your home at the frequency required by your insurance company.

My temporary service froze. What now?

Please call us at 403-808-3092 and we’ll get you set up again.

What do I do with the jugs now that my water is back on?

You can keep them for your use or recycle them.