We are getting closer to knowing how 250,000 litres of oil spilled into the North Saskatchewan River.
Pieces of the Husky pipeline in question have now been sectioned, cut and removed for testing and analysis.
“Recovered sections of both the eight inch pipe and the 16 inch pipe have been transported for a third party lab for analysis,” explained Laurie Pushor, Deputy Minister for the Ministry of the Economy.
But Pushor wouldn’t speculate on what may have been the cause of the leak.
“We will wait until we have done a thorough and comprehensive analysis so that we can be certain in the factual information we can provide as to the cause,” Pushor said.
It has now been three weeks since the spill on July 21.
The drinking water of some 69,000 people was impacted as a result, with the cities of North Battleford and Prince Albert and surrounding areas only just beginning to return to normal.
More than 2,000 water samples have been taken with both drinking water and aquatic life guidelines exceeding safe levels at various points along the river.
Some of the samples tested for aquatic life were found upstream from the spill site so may be unrelated.
The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency is conducting its own analysis of the water samples that have been collected.
Since the spill, 145,000 litres of oil has been recovered but the impact is still being felt with 97 wildlife mortalities reported.
There are 800 people currently involved in the response to the oil spill from Husky, government and First Nations.