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Water outages and main breaks

On this page you will find current water outages and real-time status updates on current water main breaks, as well as, frequently asked questions about water outages and main repairs.

If your water is off and you have not been notified, there may be a water main or smaller water pipe break affecting your area. We do our best to notify customers of water service interruptions when they occur, unfortunately, water outages are not always predictable. 

Please note: Only water main breaks resulting in water service disruptions are displayed below. 

Under normal circumstances, water main breaks are repaired and water is back on within 48 hours.

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Questions about water outages and water main breaks

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Water outages are not always predictable. If your water is off and you were not notified, it may be because:
  • A water main break or leak was discovered in the late evening or early morning and we did not want to disturb you.
  • Crews discovered a water main break or leak that was large in nature that could potentially cause property damage.
  • A frozen water line may be affecting your service.
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There are many contributing factors including:

  • Pipe age can contribute to main breaks because pipes get old and don't work as well
  • Pipe material and soil conditions can cause pipes to corrode or crumble
  • Temperature of the ground and water can contribute to water main breaks. Freezing can cause expansion and contraction that creates force on the water main
  • Pressure change can cause water main breaks. Pressure changes are caused by very hot dry days with high water use

Over the years, we have used many different types of pipe for water mains.

  • Wooden pipes (pre-1910)
  • Cast iron pipe (1910 – 1968)
  • AC pipe (1955 – 1978)
  • Ductile iron pipe (1963 – 2010)
  • PVC pipe (1976 – present)
What Causes Water Main breaks?
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A water wagon is a portable tank of drinking water that provides emergency supply to customers. It is placed in a central location to provide customers access to water during an extended period of water outage.

For repairs like water main replacements, we may provide temporary water to property owners. A temporary connection is attached to either a fire hydrant or a neighbour's home.

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How is a water main fixed?

  1. A crew is dispatched to determine the location, impact and severity of the break
  2. Crews close nearby valves this will reduce water flow or shut it off
  3. Crew identify other utility locations
  4. Crew excavate to expose the watermain
  5. Crews repair the water main
  6. The pipe is flushed and water is tested to ensure water quality
  7. Service is restored
  8. Damaged road, lane, sidewalk or lawn is repaired. This may take some time depending on the construction season, weather and the availability of equipment and materials
Water main repair steps
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How long does it take to repair a water main?

It can be difficult to predict when water service will be restored during a main break repair. The length of repair time can vary depending on the location of the leak, condition of the soil, the condition of the pipe, seasonal activities, availability of repair materials and difficulty and location of the excavation.

No one has come to fix the water main yet - why?

At any time, there are a number of emergency water service repairs required throughout Calgary. Projects must be prioritized based on factors such as the risk of property damage, impact to critical facilities (like hospitals or schools) and the number of customers that are out of water.

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Can I flush my toilet without water service?

You can continue to use the washroom during water interruptions by pouring stored water into your toilet bowl to empty its contents.

Is my water safe to drink?

We test water quality before water is restored.

  • Wash any tap aerators or screens in hot, soapy water, and then disinfect them for 10 minutes in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.
  • Disinfect any water filters to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Run bathtub tap on cold water for 30 minutes until water clears and then run other cold taps in house for 5 minutes or until clear.
  • If water does not clear after running the taps, contact 311.

My lawn was damaged by the repair. Will The City fix my lawn?

We offer property rehabilitation services, including fixes to grass, curbs or sidewalks. Learn more at Water Service Construction Property Rehab.

The water service line on my property needs repair. Who is responsible?

If the section of the service line to your home requires repair and it is on your property (determined by the property line) you are responsible for the repair.

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Watermain repairs, construction and other work may cause some rust and sediment, which normally stick to the inside of the water main. Fire hydrant flushing can also cause this inconvenience.

The discoloured water is safe to drink, but your water may appear dirty. If this happens, run your bathtub tap on cold for 30 minutes until water clears and then run other cold water taps for five minutes or until clear.

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Contact 311 and a Water Services crew will be dispatched to evaluate the situation.

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