By Tim Leeds 

Water system plan could send untreated water to Havre plant

 


Water system plan could send untreated water to Havre plant

Tim Leeds

The Havre City Council Monday got its first look at a proposal that would change how the city would get its water.

Council member Gerry Veis, who represents Havre on the North Central Montana Regional Water Authority along with Mayor Tim Solomon and Department of Public Works Director Dave Peterson, distributed a page of a report from the Bureau of Reclamation at Monday's council meeting.

Veis said that when Havre approved joining the system, which would supply water to some 30,000 people in north-central Montana, it was to receive treated water.

"Proposal Number 5 is to bring raw water in to Havre and treat it in our treatment plant, which is not what we approved, " he said.

The Rocky Boy's-North Central Montana Regional Water System, which originally grew out of water compact negotiations with the Chippewa Cree Tribe at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, was proposed to treat water at a large, central treatment plant at Tiber Dam and transport it to users on the reservation and from locations ranging from Loma to the Hill County Water District and west to Shelby and other communities.



Mary Heller, general manager of the regional water authority, said this morning that the proposals — the planning report lists eight others — are not set in stone.

"It's just a good way of stepping back and looking at things, " she said.

Another part of Proposal 5 is to scale back the treatment plant at Tiber Dam, building a second, smaller treatment plant near Box Elder and using that plant to treat the water for Rocky Boy residents.



Alternate proposals for other water districts in the authority also are included in the report.

Heller said a meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday for the coordinating committee from Rocky Boy and the regional authority to talk about the proposals.

"This will be the big topic of the discussion, " she said.

The quarterly meeting of the board is set for March 15, and the topic will again be discussed and the tribe and the Water Authority will draft a response to the bureau, Heller said.

Solomon told the council members Monday that he would like comments from them that he and the other Havre representatives can take to the authority.

The report lists in its fifth proposal several items to consider, including reviewing whether such changes even are allowed under the congressional authorization of the system.

Other issues include the savings that could be achieved, along with potential delays in supplying service, if the proposed changes are enacted. Some urgent service upgrades, such as to Loma and the Hill County Water District in western Hill County, could be delayed. Other upgrades, such as to Big Sandy, could be sped up for a temporary solution but could delay permanent improved service, the report says.



Several temporary improvements have been implemented, to improve water quality until the permanent water service is completed. One of those was connecting the rural North Havre Water District to the Havre water treatment plant, supplying treated water that is purchased by the regional authority and resold to the northern Hill County district.


Heller said work on the core system is proceeding ahead of schedule. Water could be provided to the Riverview Hutterite Colony and the South Chester Water District, treated at the Tiber County Water District treatment plant, as early as June, she said.


The Havre City Council Monday got its first look at a proposal that would change how the city would get its water.

Council member Gerry Veis, who represents Havre on the North Central Montana Regional Water Authority along with Mayor Tim Solomon and Department of Public Works Director Dave Peterson, distributed a page of a report from the Bureau of Reclamation at Monday's council meeting.

Veis said that when Havre approved joining the system, which would supply water to some 30,000 people in north-central Montana, it was to receive treated water.

"Proposal Number 5 is to bring raw water in to Havre and treat it in our treatment plant, which is not what we approved, " he said.

The Rocky Boy's-North Central Montana Regional Water System, which originally grew out of water compact negotiations with the Chippewa Cree Tribe at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, was proposed to treat water at a large, central treatment plant at Tiber Dam and transport it to users on the reservation and from locations ranging from Loma to the Hill County Water District and west to Shelby and other communities.

Mary Heller, general manager of the regional water authority, said this morning that the proposals — the planning report lists eight others — are not set in stone.

"It's just a good way of stepping back and looking at things, " she said.

Another part of Proposal 5 is to scale back the treatment plant at Tiber Dam, building a second, smaller treatment plant near Box Elder and using that plant to treat the water for Rocky Boy residents.

Alternate proposals for other water districts in the authority also are included in the report.

Heller said a meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday for the coordinating committee from Rocky Boy and the regional authority to talk about the proposals.

"This will be the big topic of the discussion, " she said.

The quarterly meeting of the board is set for March 15, and the topic will again be discussed and the tribe and the Water Authority will draft a response to the bureau, Heller said.

Solomon told the council members Monday that he would like comments from them that he and the other Havre representatives can take to the authority.

The report lists in its fifth proposal several items to consider, including reviewing whether such changes even are allowed under the congressional authorization of the system.

Other issues include the savings that could be achieved, along with potential delays in supplying service, if the proposed changes are enacted. Some urgent service upgrades, such as to Loma and the Hill County Water District in western Hill County, could be delayed. Other upgrades, such as to Big Sandy, could be sped up for a temporary solution but could delay permanent improved service, the report says.

Several temporary improvements have been implemented, to improve water quality until the permanent water service is completed. One of those was connecting the rural North Havre Water District to the Havre water treatment plant, supplying treated water that is purchased by the regional authority and resold to the northern Hill County district.

Heller said work on the core system is proceeding ahead of schedule. Water could be provided to the Riverview Hutterite Colony and the South Chester Water District, treated at the Tiber County Water District treatment plant, as early as June, she said.

 

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