Alberta town trucks in water in case of emergency after sewage leak affects supply

COCHRANE, Alta. – A town west of Calgary says it continues to truck in water from other communities to maintain its required levels.

The Town of Cochrane has declared a local state of emergency after an accident Saturday affected its water and wastewater pipelines, causing sewage to flow into the Bow River.

Officials in both Cochrane and Calgary, which draw water from the river, say the drinking water remains safe.

But Cochrane officials say in an online update that on-site crews have been unable to isolate a water line to start repairs, so there has been significant ongoing water loss.

It says all of the town’s 32,000 residents, as well as its businesses, must follow emergency mandatory water conservation to make sure there’s water available for fire suppression and other emergencies.

The town has been trucking in water from Calgary and the community of Harmony, which is southeast of Cochrane.

Residents were asked Tuesday to prioritize water use to drinking water and basic hygiene. They were asked to stop showering, washing dishes and using washing machines.

Some households and businesses were told later Tuesday they would be without water for a minimum of 48 hours as the crews work to restore the line and ensure water for the entire community. Potable water was to be delivered to each affected household.