Saskatchewan city fo­cuses on wa­ter sup­ply af­ter oil spill

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

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