More communities in Saskatchewan are being affected by the Husky Energy oil spill on the North Saskatchewan River.
An incident report filed with the Saskatchewan government said a "pipeline release" was discovered on the south shore of the North Saskatchewan River at 8 p.m. on July 20, raising questions about why Husky crews were dispatched only the next morning, as initially reported.
The northern part of the system will remain down until Husky has "dealt with the crisis at hand", said Husky executive Al Pate, adding the company was "deeply sorry".
In Canada's oil capital, Calgary, some analysts said that although the spill was relatively minor, it would fuel fierce opposition to new Canadian pipelines projects such as TransCanada Corp's Energy East and Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion.
Pate said Husky remains confident that its estimate of the volume of oil that leaked, 250 cubic meters, has not changed.
That's also when Husky notified the provincial government of the spill. There is an ample backup supply of water, but its quality can't be assured until authorities figure out the best way to treat it, said Sam Ferris of Saskatchewan's Water Security Agency.
About 70,000 litres of an oil-soil mixture have been cleaned up around the source of the leak and another 118,000 litres of oily water has been skimmed from the river.
"The people have been very understanding", Toye said.
Pate said the breached pipeline was built in 1997 and was subject to a "rigorous" corrosion monitoring program.
The oil reached Prince Albert, population 35,000, hours earlier than expected on Monday, widening the impact and cost of the spill.
The cities of North Battleford and Prince Albert, further upstream, have already closed their river water intakes and taken measures to conserve water.
Prince Albert has since begun constructing a 20-centimetre-diameter irrigation pipe to draw water from the South Saskatchewan River near the Muskoday First Nation, about 20 to 30 kilometres away, while North Battleford is eyeing plans to install a pipe from Battle River as an alternate source of water.
Prince Albert city council held a special meeting Monday and declared a local state of emergency, meaning city officials can issue $1,400 fines to businesses and residents using potable water unnecessarily.