Saskatchewan is preparing for the possibility it may have to make river water that’s contaminated with oil suitable for drinking.
Now that water is starting to flow through temporary lines to communities affected by a Husky Energy pipeline spill on the North Saskatchewan River, planners are beginning to shift more attention on what to do in case the river remains contaminated when winter approaches.
Prince Albert city manager Jim Toye says one of the options that’s being discussed is to return to drawing water from the North Saskatchewan and treating it for hydrocarbons.
Saskatchewan’s commissioner of emergency management says a planning group has been established to come up with options to supply affected communities with water into winter.
In the meantime, water from at least one of the temporary pipelines that’s being built to supply Prince Albert is now flowing.
Prince Albert posted an update on its website saying testing on water from the Little Red River was successful and that it has started flowing through city pipes.
Prince Albert shut its water intakes on the North Saskatchewan River not long after a Husky Energy pipeline spill further upstream occurred well over a week ago.
Another longer water line is being built to the South Saskatchewan River but efforts to get it flowing over the weekend experienced setbacks, including damage that’s suspected to have been caused when a motorist drove over it.
(with files from The Canadian Press)