July 26, 2016 8:19 am
Updated: July 26, 2016 8:21 am

PDWA issued for Melfort, Sask. region due to Husky Energy oil spill

WATCH ABOVE: Coverage of the Husky Energy oil spill near Maidstone into the North Saskatchewan River.

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More communities in Saskatchewan are being affected by the Husky Energy oil spill on the North Saskatchewan River.

A precautionary drinking water advisory (PDWA) was issued for Melfort and the surrounding area at 12:01 a.m. CT on Tuesday.

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READ MORE: Drinking water measures could be in place for months due to oil spill: official

Melfort gets its water from Codette Lake, which is fed by the Saskatchewan River.

Officials with the Water Security Agency say they plan to close the water intake at Codette and switch to an alternative source of water not affected by the oil spill.

However, the new source of water could have higher than permissible turbidity levels along with taste and odour problems.

People are being asked to boil their water until the new source is confirmed safe.

READ MORE: ‘Serious spill’ could affect oil pipeline perception in Sask.: environmentalist

The PDWA covers Melfort, Beatty, Kinistino, Weldon, Star City and users of the Melfort Rural Pipeline Association.

About 200,000 to 250,000 litres are estimated to have spilled from the breach upstream of Maidstone on July 21 — the equivalent of two rail tank cars.

Two cities downstream from the leak have stopped drawing water from the river.

READ MORE: Mandatory measures to conserve water in place as oil flows past North Battleford

North Battleford shut down its intake on Friday and is relying on a limited supply from wells.

Officials say the oily plume reached Prince Albert, a city of 35,000 people, on Monday, where a state of emergency was declared.

Water conservation measures such as a ban on watering private lawns and golf courses and closing water-guzzling businesses like car washes and laundromats have been put in place.

Anyone caught breaking the measures could face a $1,000 fine.

With files from Global’s Doug Lett and The Canadian Press

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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