Alberta town declares local state of emergency after sewage leak into water supply

COCHRANE, ALBERTA — An Alberta community where an accident caused sewage to flow into a river that feeds Calgary's water supply has declared a local state of emergency.

The Town of Cochrane, west of Calgary, said on the weekend that a contractor completing work on behalf of the town had "impacted'' its wastewater and water pipelines as it was setting up for drilling operations, resulting in a sewer line break that was sending wastewater in the Bow River.

The town is still working with the contractor to repair the damaged pipe and to minimize leakage as soon as possible.

Although the water remains safe to drink, an update posted on Cochrane's website warns that water reservoirs have reached a critical state.

It says that affects the community's ability to provide water and ensure resources are available for emergency fire suppression if required.

The town says if consumption continues at current levels, some communities may soon be without water, and it is urging residents to stop showering, washing dishes and using washing machines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press