Posted: Aug 22, 2013 11:04 PM by Claire Anderson - MTN News
One week ago on August 22nd, the town of Brady declared a public health emergency for contaminated water.
Bob Blanton, J&L Log Cabin Owner, said,"I couldn't believe it. It just started slowly turning a brown color and it just kept getting worse and worse."
The Brady water operators and residents are still puzzled as to what caused the brown sludge to make its way into residents' homes.
Montana Rural Water Systems' John Weikel said, "What they think is that the intake is collapsed and so therefor, any of the sludge that is in the bottom of the ponds, is just being collected into the system."
But work is now being done to pin down the exact cause.
Brady Water Operator Russel Leitheiser said, "We're going to send divers down. Hopefully we can find something with the intake and then we can figure out what to do from there."
Since declaring an emergency on August 22nd, residents have had to limit their water use and as of only recently, have been able to use water again in their homes.
"We got water for showers and to do dishes and wash clothes and stuff like that, but other than that, if you're going to drink water, you got to have bottled water," Blanton said.
Both the city and the state have been working day and night to get the station sanitized and ready to get back up and running.
"We have cleaned everything in the plant- got all of the sludge out of there so it's ready to go as soon as we can get water into it," Leitheiser said.
The Montana Rural Water Department said this is not a usual occurrence and many small towns use similar systems, but unfortunately, failure is unavoidable.
"It is equipment and it fails, so failure is key," Weikel said.
Residents and officials are hoping the intake is fixed soon and their faucets can be turned back on.
Weikel added that crews were unable to find the intake on Thursday so a decision to put in a new intake pipe has been made. He said they hope to have the plant back in business on Friday.