Rocky Boy's water OK to drink, if boiled 6-15-07

ROCKY BOY, Mont. (AP) - Residents of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, where solvent mistaken for chlorine was added to a water supply last month, have been told they may drink tap water if it is boiled for at least a minute.

The advisory from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came about three weeks after consumers alarmed by a fuel odor in the water contacted officials. The tribal Water Resources Department said degreaser used in sewer pipes was taken from a container similar to that holding chlorine, and put in the water.

Twelve days of water testing preceded the advisory.


Testing will continue less frequently and it is possible the need to boil water will end in a week, Jim Morsette of the Water Resources Department said.

“Really our water is pretty safe - it's just high in chlorine right now,” Morsette said.

Tribal officials received complaints about the water on May 23 and said some consumers experienced stomachaches and nausea.

Officials said boiling is necessary before tap water is used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, cooking or dishwashing, but not if the water is used for bathing or laundry.

Distribution of bottled water began after discovery of the contamination.

Water tests were conducted Thursday after two people concerned about an odor contacted officials. The tests indicated chlorine caused the smell.