PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – The sighting of an oily sheen on the North Saskatchewan River from last week’s Husky Energy pipeline leak has prompted the City of Prince Albert to shut down the intake at its water treatment plant.
City manager Jim Toye says the slick was spotted near the Saskatchewan community of more than 35,000 shortly after 6:00 a.m. today.
Toye says reservoirs have a two-day supply of water and the city may get permission to tap its storm retention pond for treatment and distribution, which would add another four to five days worth of water.
Work is already underway to lay out a temporary pipeline stretching upwards of 30 kilometres to draw water from the South Saskatchewan River, should the water emergency continue for a much longer period.
Prince Albert city council is holding a special meeting to discuss what Toye calls “drastic” water conservation measures that call for a fine of $1,000 if anyone is caught breaking the rules.
The spill near Maidstone, Sask., last Thursday released between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material into the North Saskatchewan — only about half of which has been recovered.