PRINCE ALBERT, CANADA, JULY 26, 2016 -- After oil leaked into the North Saskatchewan River, the City of Prince Albert has declared a state of local emergency. The city shut its drinking water intakes on the North Saskatchewan River last week to protect residents from the spill, which is threatening the drinking water supply.
At a news conference on Monday morning, Mayor Greg Dionne said the state of emergency will allow the city to ask residents to "do more to conserve water." According to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, the mayor reiterated that the water flowing from taps was safe to drink, bu that residents would have to conserve. The fine for watering lawns during the state of emergency is currently $1,000.
The oil spill occurred when a Husky Energy pipeline burst near Maidstone, Saskatchewan, spilling as much as 66,000 gallons of crude oil and diluent into the river. The city is using its stored water supply and is building a temporary 19-mile-long pipeline to the South Saskatchewan River until the oil spill has flowed past the intakes.
About 40 percent of the spill has been recovered. The province, Husky Energy, and the Canadian government are working on a plan to clean up the rest. Officials have not yet determined the cause of the pipe break.
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