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Calgary mayor sticks to Stampede opening day for possible main water fix

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Calgary’s mayor is promising residents a full accounting of the costs created by a catastrophic break of the city’s main water line.

Jyoti Gondek says all expenses have been tracked since the day the water pipe broke and that information will be released to the public.

Meanwhile, she is sticking to opening day of the Stampede as a best-case scenario for the full resumption of water services in the city.

But Gondek warns that unforeseen problems could delay repairs to a catastrophic water main break that has forced citywide restrictions for more than two weeks.

Gondek says the Stampede, which starts July 5, is still in talks with neighbouring communities about trucking in water for both crowds and animals at the event.

Meanwhile, she says, three sections of new pipe are ready to be installed to replace sections where inspections had revealed weaknesses.

Two more pieces are being cleaned and prepared.

Gondek says Calgarians continue to conserve drinking water and are on their fifth straight day of using less than the city is able to make.

“Work could be done as early as July 5,” Gondek said Thursday.

“We have to be prepared that a potential site may require a bit more repair than we had expected, or that water testing is going to take a little bit longer.

“Hang in there with me.”

Calgary, a city of 1.6 million people, and surrounding municipalities have been under a combination of mandatory and voluntary water restrictions since the pipe ruptured June 5.

All outdoor watering is banned and people have been urged to reduce toilet flushes, take shorter showers and do fewer loads of laundry and dishes.