The City of Prince Albert activated its emergency operations center on Saturday afternoon in order to put together a contingency plan after a boom set up to contain an oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River breached, sending oil toward the city and its drinking water supply.
A spokesman for Saskatchewan’s water security agency said Prince Albert gets most of its water supply from the North Saskatchewan River. Staff members are getting ready to shut down the intakes as oil from the leak flows past the city.
The city is working on ways to treat water for hydrocarbons if backup water supplies run out before the oil passes. Backup water supply options for the city include water from storm water retention ponds and other reservoirs, which the city will treat.
The 65,000-gallon spill leaked into the river last Thursday after a break in a pipeline owned by Husky Energy. The company stated its containment and cleanup efforts in the wake of the spill are ongoing.