Husky Energy has been fined $3.8 million for a pipeline leak that spilled oil into a major river and tainted the drinking water supply for thousands of people in Saskatchewan.

The spill into the North Saskatchewan River in July 2016 forced the cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort to shut off their water intakes for almost two months.

Calgary-based Husky pleaded guilty earlier today in provincial court in Lloydminster, Sask., to three environmental charges.

About 225,000 litres of diluted heavy oil spilled from Husky's pipeline near Maidstone in west-central Saskatchewan and the company said about 40 per cent made it into the river.

Melfort Mayor Rick Lang told CTV News he is pleased with how Husky handled the spill, adding the company took care of all financial costs related to the incident.

As for the environmental charges, Lang said they’re hard to deny but Husky didn’t hesitate to take full responsibility.

"They acknowledged that there was a problem in the system and that they were responsible,” Lang said.

The City of Prince Albert says in its victim impact statement that the spill caused significant disruption, stress and considerable losses to individuals and businesses.

Three First Nations in the area told court that Husky's cleanup was inadequate and they can no long hunt, fish or grow crops because of continued oil contamination.