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Boil advisory still in effect in Havre

Cause unknown, impacting pools, businesses, end date unknown, local church distributing water

The water boil advisory still is in effect in Havre, with the end date still unknown, but city officials say work is progressing as required, and a local church is helping people avoid using local water.

The Havre advisory tells people that they should boil water for at least a minute before using it for drinking, cooking or brushing teeth to prevent any chance of being affected by the parasite giardiasis, which can cause illness.

The presence of the water-borne parasite has not been confirmed in Havre water, but Mayor Doug Kaercher said this morning that, because it has not been ruled out as the source, the boil advisory was put in place in an abundance of caution.

The impact extends to the Havre Community Pool and other pools in the area, which the county has ordered closed until more information is available.

“We have chosen to close the community pool because it is the best step we can take with the information we have at this time to protect the public,” Hill County Health Officer Kim Berg said this morning. “As I have more information we will reevaluate and hopefully get the pool open.”

The Havre Water Treatment Plant has increased its use of chorine to kill any giardia that may be in the water supply and is continuing to flush the city water system, Kaercher said.

In response to the boil advisory, a local church is providing water to residents today and Tuesday, or until all supplies are distributed.

Pastor Jamie Stoll of the Havre Assembly of God Church said the church will be taking water to various neighborhoods today — the exact locations were not available at the time Havre Daily interviewed Stoll this morning — for distribution, and they will be distributing water at the church, 901 9th St. W., Tuesday from 6-8 p.m., and would notify the public if more distribution times are possible.

The water will be at the white garage on the northeast side of the church.

Stoll said the distribution will allow one case of water per two people in a household.

He said that, when he found out about the boil advisory, he reached out to the Convoy of Hope organization his church works with to see if it could do anything.

Convoy of Hope sent a semitractor-trailer with 18 pallets of water, and parishioners Lon and Stacey Waid brought in a Bobcat to unload the truck, Stoll said.

Kaercher said the city still has no set end date for the boil advisory, with Montana Department of Environmental Quality estimating 15-30 days until the city water can be eliminated as a suspected source of the giardia.

He and Berg each said they would notify the public with updates and if anything changes.


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