The Saskatchewan government announced Friday that the breach that leaked 1,570 barrels of oil into the North Saskatchewan River on July 20 has finally been found but the cause of the leak is still unknown.
Deputy minister of the economy Laurie Pushor said the section of the Husky Energy pipeline where the leak occurred was dug up on Friday. The excavation has now stopped and plans are being made to remove the section without causing a further release of oil into the waters. It will then be sent for testing.
The process to purge the pipe and remove the damaged section as well as cap off and secure the remaining pipe is expected to take several days due to the complexity that comes with safely executing said steps.
The oil spill has affected the drinking water supply to approximately 62,000 people in the area. Cities have had to shut off their water intakes and rely on other sources, such as water in reservoirs on storm retention ponds.
Details of the findings, such as what caused the pipeline to fail, will be released when the full report on the incident is made. The government expects Husky Energy to submit a full report on the incident within 90 days of the pipeline breach.