The Saskatchewan Municipal Awards were recently handed out and the City of Prince Albert was earned a First Place Award for its response to the oil spill in the summer of 2016. In handing out the award, it was noted that Prince Albert was quick to activate an emergency operations centre in response to an oil spill that contaminated the source of their drinking water, the North Saskatchewan River.
Husky Energy was responsible for an oil spill of 250,000 litres into North Saskatchewan River. Crews discovered the oil leak from a pipeline on July 20th after pressure anomalies were remotely measured in the pipeline. A crew investigated the pressure anomalies and discovered the leak. The spill caused communities downstream, including Battleford and Prince Albert to declare states emergency, and stop taking their drinking water from the river.
Unlike some other communities on the North Saskatchewan River such as North Battleford and Battleford, Prince Albert relied on the river water and did not have a ready source of well water at for use. The City of Prince Albert installed two improvised lines to provide an alternative supply of water to the City’s 35,000 inhabitants from the Little Red River, also known as the Spruce River and the South Saskatchewan River.