Test results came back showing no contamination for water from a Crow Agency treatment facility vandalized earlier this week, but the Crow Tribe is asking residents to help flush out water mains as a precaution.

Some water mains connected to the facility were flushed Friday as "a precaution to make sure water is safe in all parts of the system," according to the press release from the Crow Tribe. 

Crow Agency residents are asked to turn one to two faucets for five minutes — but not for longer due to a water supply "that is already low." 

Water initially may appear discolored due to sediments that were trapped in the distribution system. After flushing pipes the water is safe to drink, according to the release.

A statement from incident command accompanying the press release states that water usage would be restored from west of the railroad tracks to east of the railroad tracks in Crow Agency beginning at 4:30 p.m. Water usage should be restored east of the tracks beginning at 6:30 p.m., according to the statement. 

Questions or comments should be directed to Crow Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Laura Rides Horse. She can be reached at 406-678-2779 or laura.rideshorse@crow-nsn.gov

Some test results came in Thursday night, but the final tests results were not available until Friday morning, according to Martin McCombe, the on-scene coordinator with the EPA's Region 8 emergency response unit. 

"We had the key facilities like the hospital and the elderly care center and the school, we went ahead and flushed all those faucets," McCombe said. That process concluded at about 3 p.m. Friday, he said. 

The EPA likely will remain in Crow Agency through the weekend to conduct repairs, clean the facility and assess damages, McCombe said. 

With the BIA water treatment plant responsible for producing water while repairs on the Crow Tribe's facility continue, residents are also asked to conserve water. Until both plants are operational Crow Agency will not have its normal treatment capacity. 

Conservation tips include:

  • Filling a sink or basin when washing dishes.
  • Taking short showers instead of baths.
  • Turning off the water when brushing teeth.
  • Running the dishwasher or washing machine only when they are full. 
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Night Reporter

General assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette.