The city of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, fell victim to an unfortunate oil spill which has forced it to shut down its water treatment plant on Friday. The shutdown has been made imminent to eliminate any further risks of the city’s water being contaminated.
The oil is believed to have leaked from a pipeline owned by Husky Energy Inc., which has since been shut down to stop it from spreading further.
It is estimated that 1570 barrels of heavy oil leaked from the pipeline, roughly the equivalent of 200,000 litres. The company also said that the oil was mixed with a thinning product to help the oil flow; unfortunately, the oil has now leaked in the Northern Saskatchewan River and will require a considerable amount of effort to contain.
The provincial government, as well as Husky Oil, have since proceeded with attempts to contain the spill, with berms being used as a possible solution.
Residents of North Battleford, who primarily depend on the Northern Saskatchewan River for water, have been warned to conserve as much water as they can following the treatment plant’s closure.
The city’s mayor, a company spokeswoman as well a news release, has advised residents to practice precaution. Residents are urged to fill up their water jugs and bathtubs, as well as resist watering their lawns or washing their cars in order to preserve as much water as possible. Laundromats and car washes have also been shut down as a precautionary measure as the government and Husky Oil’s emergency response teams continue to work to resolve this issue.
North Battleford’s water tower and reservoirs have also been filled up in the attempt to minimize all chances of a water shortage.