Saskatchewan city focuses on water supply after oil spill
PRINCE ALBERT, SASK. — Provincial officials in Saskatchewan say a riverside city whose water supply is threatened by an oil spill is building a hose, dozens of kilometres long, to draw water from another river.
Sam Ferris with Saskatchewan’s water security agency says Prince Albert is constructing a line with 20-centimetre-diameter irrigation pipe along the ground to a spot on the South Saskatchewan River near the Muskoday First Nation, between 20 and 30 kilometres away.
The city of more than 35,000 people has been preparing to shut its regular water intakes on the North Saskatchewan River following a spill upstream of up to 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material at a Husky Energy Pipeline near Maidstone, Sask., on Thursday.
Prince Albert has a few days of water in reservoirs and has also been preparing to treat water from its stormwater retention ponds while oil from the spill flows past.
Wes Kotyk with Saskatchewan’s environmental protection branch says officials don’t know how long that could take, since the plume of the spill has broken up and slicks can get hung up on bends and take time to move along the river.
North Battleford, which is upstream, shut off its water supply intakes on Friday and is now relying on its limited supply from wells.