Repair strategy underway
(Fort McMurray, Alberta) – Crews have successfully contained a leak of recycled water discovered north of Syncrude’s Mildred Lake operation Thursday, April 20th. Since containing the water by the evening of the same day with the use of a temporary dike, efforts have focused on the recovery process.
By Friday, vacuum trucks had removed leaked water from the area, significantly lowering a residual shallow pond to pockets of water. The water has since been channeled directly into a sump and trucks are able to maintain the level while work continues to stop the leak of residual water in the line. The 35-kilometre line, which was shut down immediately after the leak was detected, carries recycled water from Syncrude’s Mildred Lake operation to its Aurora mine.
Preliminary tests, both upstream and downstream of the leak, indicate the recycled water has been significantly diluted and will have little or no impact on the river system. Those results have been provided to regulators and stakeholders downstream of the incident. Testing is ongoing with subsequent results confirming the preliminary findings.
Work is continuing to stop the small leak with preparation for the safe excavation and subsequent repair of the pipeline underway. Syncrude is investigating the cause of the leak that will help determine steps to prevent a similar incident in the future.