Enough water to fill four Olympic-sized pools was discharged into the Red Deer River eroding a section of the riverbank after a water pipe sprung a leak early Thursday morning.
Roughly 10 million litres of chlorinated was discharged from a water line near the Bellevue Reservoir near the city’s Water Treatment Plant.
Tom Marstaller, Environmental Planning Superintendent, said the water is safe to drink and there is no risk to the water supply.
But the quick flowing water eroded parts of the riverbank around the CPR pedestrian bridge.
Crews spent the day putting up fence to prevent any more soil from leaking into the river.
Alberta Environment and Environment Canada were on site to investigate and test the water for potential issues.
Public Affairs Officer Jamie Hanlon said Environment and Parks staff observed several groups of fish, small and large-sized schools, showing normal signs of behaviour.
“There have been no reports of impact downstream at this point,” he said. “Currently, minimal impact to aquatic life is anticipated.”
The two agencies will work with the city as they develop and implement a remediation plan to fill in the eroded bank and reclaim the affected areas such as the bridge infrastructure and exposed utility lines.
Marstaller expects to have more information in the coming days.
The cause of the leak is also under investigation.
Staff at the plant noticed an increase in demand on the system around 3:15 a.m.
The city supplies water to roughly 110,000 residents in Central Alberta.
The water gushed in all directions flooding the area surrounding the reservoir. The pipe was expected to be fixed by the end of Thursday.
The trail under the CPR bridge and the pedestrian bridge were closed due to the leak.