Pipelines at Crowsnest ASP Project. Photo courtesy Huskeyenergy.com

Both North Battleford and Prince Albert are warning their residents to limit water use as the imminent threat of oil plumes flowing downstream from a Husky oil pipeline breach threaten the water supply.

The province says Husky Oil’s plan to limit the spread of oil has hit a major snag that is seeing oil flow towards North Battleford. Initially, Husky was aiming to contain the oil using booms at the Paynton ferry bridge but that was compromised.

The update coming on Friday afternoon says the spill “will require an escalation of action on the part of all parties.”

The City of North Battleford has shut off its water intake and has the capacity to use groundwater for the coming few days, until the immediate risk has passed.

Meanwhile, The City of Prince Albert issued a news release advising residents to stock up a water supply in their homes over the next 24 hours by filling bathtubs, water jugs, and whatever else people can.:

“It is highly likely that the City will be shutting down the Water Treatment Plant intake from the North Saskatchewan River on Sunday as a precautionary measure. It is anticipated that a plume from an upstream oil spill will be reaching Prince Albert as early as Sunday, July 24. The City’s reservoirs will be filled to capacity with potable water until a shut down is necessary, and will be able to provide potable water for 2 days. A contingency plan is being formulated to prepare for a long term plan if it becomes necessary.”