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Browning water system still down; expected to be working on Sunday

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 10:41:33-05

BROWNING — On Monday, January 1st, the Blackfeet Reservation town of Browning lost all running water. A key equipment part on the tribe’s water plant broke, cutting off the town’s supply.

On Tuesday, all Browning public schools were closed and nearly all businesses followed suit on Wednesday after the Blackfeet Tribal Council declared a State of emergency on January 3rd.

The town has entered stage two fire restrictions due to the dry conditions and inability to pump new water from their hydrants. That means no campfires, fireworks, or the like.

More than one thousand homes were served with free bottled water as accommodations throughout the emergency.

The Blackfeet Incident Command Center released the following information on Wednesday:

We are pleased to inform you that the water plant is currently operational, and we anticipate full functionality by Sunday afternoon, January 7th, pending successful tests and the absence of any mechanical malfunctions. Please be advised that during this period, it will take approximately 18-36 hours to pressurize the system.
In the meantime, we urge everyone to continue conserving water, and a boil advisory remains in effect for your safety. We will notify the public promptly regarding the conclusion of the boil order and the full functionality of the water plant.

Distribution [of water] at the Handsome Arbor concluded at 2 pm on Thursday, January 4th. For any inquiries, the Incident Command Center dispatch will be available to take calls starting at 9 am on Friday. Emergency water distribution will be prioritized during this time. Additionally, Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are still in effect until further notice. This means no open burning, fireworks, etc.

The following information was also released on Wednesday: