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By Alex Ross 

Rocky Boy crews work on more water problems


February 13, 2018

Crews from the Chippewa Cree Tribal Water Resources Department are working to repair two breaks in the reservation water system, as some homes on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation experience a lack of running water.

“We have two crews out working on two breaks in the system, one in the the Bonneau area and one on Lower Road,” Chippewa Cree Tribal Chair Harlan Baker said in a post Monday on the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy Montana Facebook page, the tribe’s official Facebook page.

A post Monday afternoon on the Facebook page of 88.5 KHEW, the tribe’s radio station, said water was being delivered by truck in the Country View and Prairie View villages.

“They are trying to get all houses that have people in them, please be on the look out for them,” the post said.

When water service is restored, Baker said in his Facebook post, an order will be made requiring all reservation residents to boil water, until the Environmental Protection Agency can conduct a test to determine whether the water is safe to drink.

Rocky Boy residents in the villages and Lower Box Elder Road have been plagued by water shortages in recent weeks.

Tribal Water Resources Interim Director Curtis Monteau said Monday that the lack of water to homes is due to a lack of water pressure, at least one broken mainline and frozen pipes in homes that have been abandoned and water service has not been shut off or in homes where there is no heat.

As crews try to locate which abandoned homes in which water is being, lost portions of the water line have been shut off, Monteau said. He added that homes on Lower Box Elder Road and the villages have not had water at the same time.

Russell Houle, a tribal member who resides on Lower Box Elder Road said there have been problems with the reservation’s water system for at least the last two weeks.

He said that he did not receive bottled water from the tribe for five days, and that Monday was only the second time in the past 11 days his water had come on for short periods of time.

Monteau said water was being delivered and that no home has gone without running water for more than 24 hours.

Houle also said that when he has had tap water, it has come out muddy and someone who lives in one of the villages sent him a picture showing muddy water.

Monteau said he has not received reports of muddy water, but that Tribal Water Resources has increased the amount of chlorine put into the water which could make it appear more milky.


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