Tugboat spill affects water on Akwesasne islands

Unidentified officials assess the damage to the tugboat Lac Manitoba on June 26, 2015. The Lac Manitoba and LCM 131 sank June 22, 2015 while trying to position a barge for bridge demolition work. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

AKWESASNE – Homeowners on Pilon, Hamilton, Calquohoun and Dickerson islands are being told not to consume their water until further notice.

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne issued a “Do Not Consume Water” advisory Friday in the wake of a couple tugboats sinking in the St. Lawrence River.

The sinking Monday has caused a level of contamination in the river, which is still been assessed by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) and the Canadian Coast Guard.

There is concern there may be diesel fuel in the water surrounding the islands.

The Do Not Consume Advisory (DNCA) is different that a boil-water advisory, in that this contamination can’t be corrected by boiling the water.

People on Pilon, Hamilton, Calquohoun and Dickerson islands are advised not to swim in the river and to use bottled water until further notice.

MCA officials said the water can still be used for laundry and bathing with the exception of small children.

The Environmental Health Officer is conducting testing and a notice will be issued when the water is safe again.

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