01/14/2015 03:49 EST | Updated 03/16/2015 05:59 EDT

Nearly 30,000 litres of diesel spilled into St. Lawrence River

Equipment failure at a Longueuil waste water treatment centre caused 28,000 litres of diesel to spill into the St. Lawrence River early Wednesday morning, according to Quebec's Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks.

Radio-Canada says the diesel spilled into the sewers from a generator, and made its way into the river.

The problem appeared at about 4 a.m. ET, and the Ministry was notified just before 9:30 a.m. ET.

Quebec’s environmental emergency agency, Urgence-Environnement, is on the scene.

The Contrecoeur and Verchères municipalities, about 25 kilometres east of Montreal, take their drinking water from the river.

The ministry says town officials have been notified.

A statement from the Environment ministry says necessary measures are in place to ensure the safety of the public and to protect the environment.