Prince Albert’s plan to provide water from the South Saskatchewan River to residents by mid-week has hit a snag.
On Tuesday, city manager Jim Toye provided residents with a daily update on progress to make sure there was enough potable water in P.A.
He told media at city hall the completion of the water pipeline has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
“It’s not progressing as we had expected. The total laydown of the pipe has been done, but all the work to get all the pumps into place and do the testing will ensure that we can’t have that up and operational tomorrow, it’ll probably be late Friday,” he said.
He said the news meant residents will receive water, but its reach would not extend beyond city limits to rural municipalities.
Toye also discussed the current water supply for the city. He said due to continued conservation efforts from residents and businesses, Prince Albert still had above 50 per cent of water left in its reservoir. City staff could not determine how many hours that might last.
Additionally, Toye said water from the city’s storm retention pond was officially useable.
“Later today, we will be sending water from that pond to the water treatment facility. So, we will still have safe potable water, we’ve done all the testing for it, it’ll go through our processing plant and it will give us another four or five days,” he said.
This now leaves the city with roughly six days of water available.
“Due to the new source coming from the pond we are in no danger of running out of water, however we’ll bring that 30 km line on as soon as possible,” Toye said.
Reacting to news the oil spill may have happened Wednesday night, Toye said it was surprising.
“Traditionally when these things are happening, a company like that, you would think that they would try to get that information to the public as soon as possible, and it seems to me, what I’ve read, they didn’t do that,” he said.
Toye added he did not recall the city getting a call from Husky about the spill, adding he saw it on the news.
Mayor Greg Dionne said he first spoke to Husky officials Sunday evening.
Dionne said, as of July 26, residents will not receive compensation from Husky for buying bottle water because the city was still providing safe potable water.
He said Husky officials will be in the city as early as next week to start handling claims from affected businesses. He added the city will be publicizing the number for claimants in the coming days.