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Hysham residents express concerns about bad water

Hysham meeting.jpg
Posted at 10:00 AM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 12:00:13-05

HYSHAM - The Hysham water woes had residents speaking Thursday night at the Hysham school.

Residents have been under a boil order since early January, following multiple failures at the treatment plant.

The students can not drink the water and the water fountains are turned off because the water is not drinkable.

Basketball teams have to bring in their own water to stay hydrated at practice.

And citizens came out to raise concerns and hear from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the Treasure County Health Department and the Hysham town council.

"Our electric or gas bill or whatever, then that's going to go up too because people are going to have to have water and if you have to boil it to sterilize it, and you can't wash dishes or do anything else without hot water," said Louise Davis. "So there goes more output."

"To walk to the water department and then carry a case of water home, that can't be done," said Kim Doherty. "You know, I'm in okay health. I can't do it."

Hysham Mayor Larry Fink explained the water rates.

"We charged no overage," Fink said. "Whatever the base rate was, that's what it is."

He also said that the city did not apply for FEMA funds because floods did not cause the problems.

And he said a water main did not break but there was a computer problem.

Complaints about coffee-colored water and the boil order notification were among the concerns.

DEQ representatives said it is a maintenance issue causing the water problems.

One resident said he was satisfied with what he heard.

"I wanted to come and find out about some of the pathogens or whatever were in you know could be floating in our water," said Steve Doherty. "They did a good job of answering that."

The DEQ says it has a 90-day plan to take care of the water, and also is working on a long-term plan.