BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada — An extensive spill of toxic waste from a mine tailings pond in central British Columbia, has prompted a widespread “do not drink water” order, according to a press release.

Waterways in the Cariboo Regional District on Aug. 4, were polluted with approximately 2.6 billion gallons of tailings pond effluent that spilled through a breach in the tailing pond dam, stated the release.

A local state of emergency was declared by district officials, banning water consumption and bathing, which also included a warning stating, “Boiling will not help,” and a caution against allowing animals to drink the water, continued the release.

The ban applied to water drawn from Polley Lake, Quesnel Lake, Cariboo Creek and Hazeltine Creek, as well as the entire Quesnel and Cariboo rivers to the Fraser River, and as of Aug. 6, the cause of the breach and its impacts on the environment were still unknown, noted the release.

You can find the entire release here.