Algoma Public Health (APH) has issued a public advisory warning residents downstream from Algoma Steel not to consume, swim or bathe in water drawn from the St. Marys River following an oil spill earlier today.
Wells located close to the shoreline may also be contaminated.
The Sault Ste. Marie municipal drinking water system has not been impacted by this incident, states a news release issued by APH.
The river should also not be used for recreational purposes, such as kayaking and fishing, until further information is provided.
Full text of the APH news release follows:
NOTE: This advisory does not apply to the Sault Ste. Marie municipal drinking water system. There is no concern relating to this system at this time.
Algoma Public Health is advising all users of the St. Marys River that an oil spill has been reported and confirmed to be entering St. Marys River. Please be advised that if your drinking water intake is located in the St. Marys River downstream (east) of Algoma Steel Inc. and Great Lakes Power and/or you have a dug a well close to the shoreline there may be risk of contamination resulting from this spill.
Additionally, we advise you not to use the St. Marys River for recreational purposes (i.e. swimming, kayaking, fishing) at this time until further information is provided.
For those affected by this advisory please follow the guidance outlined below:
- Do not drink, swim, bathe, or shower with this water
- Use alternative water sources such as bottled water or from the municipal drinking water system
- Restrict pet and livestock access to the water
Control and remediation is currently underway by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).
It is recommended that you monitor your shoreline at your property for any signs of oil contamination including odors and oily sheens on the surface of the water, up to and including Echo Bay. To report a concern, please contact MOECC – Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.
This advisory will remain in effect until samples confirm the safety of the water and Algoma Public Health lifts the advisory. Please follow the media and Algoma Public Health’s website for any changes or additions to this advisory as it continues to be monitored.
For questions regarding this advisory, please contact Algoma Public Health at: 705-759-5286.