County declares emergency, Brady is without water

CHECKING IT OUT  —  An employee of UFI checks out a porta-potty in Brady on Friday to make sure all is working properly. The porta-potties were supplied to Brady residents after their water system had to be shut down, leaving the community without water.   I-O Photo by Buck Traxler







By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

With the breaking of a water line on Main Street in Brady and their pump station sucking sludge out of the pond, contamination to the Brady water system was imminent.

LeAnn Hermance, the Deputy Incident Commander for the Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) told the I-O that the waterline break which resulted in contaminating the entire treatment system for the 107 Brady hookups and approximately 200 residents.

Sludge located at the bottom of the water-holding ponds next to the treatment plant was drawn into the plant through an intake system.

The commissioners immediately passed an emergency declaration resolution. Commissioner Janice Hoppes noted, “We needed an emergency declaration in order for the state to provide assistance.”

The county is providing FREE bottled water and also gallon jugs, for residential customers until a safe water system distribution is re-established.

Bottles of drinking water are available at the Brady Fire Hall. Distribution hours are from 9 a.m. to noon. The station will be closed from noon to 4:50 p.m. and then open from 5-7 p.m.

On Friday, PCSO Deputy Andy Lund told the I-O  they had passed out 30 cases of bottled water and a one gallon jug. “Later we’ll be going door-to-door to make sure everyone is getting water.”

The county is also providing porti-potties and cleaning stations at five locations in Brady from UFI Sanitation Services. “It’s highly recommended not to use the sewer system for homes and businesses,” Hermance said in a public fact sheet.

Residential customers may qualify for a home sight porti-potty by filling out a request form at the Brady Fire Hall.

Also, bottled water will be provided for home pets, but not livestock.

A huge concern right now is fire protection service throughout the Brady Fire District.

Pondera County Sheriff Tom Kuka recommends that no burning be done until the water incident is resolved.

The community has no water to fight fires except for the use of water trucks from mutual aid fire departments.

The water system emergency repairs are underway for the shut down system. The water line break on Main Street has been repaired and pressure tested.

There is some water pressure remaining in the system, but any water should not be used for human consumption, cooking, bathing or cleaning due to sub-standard biological and turbidity contaminates.

In a ‘best case scenario’ the water system will be charged on Aug. 23, and on Aug. 30 the water system will be flushed and samples processed by the DEQ to verify quality and making sure the water is fit for human consumption.

The City of Conrad shipped in 33,000 gallons of drinking water over the weekend.

It was trucked in by two trucks with 5,000 gallon tanks and was put into the treatment plant’s treated water clear well.

Residents could use this water to shower and flush toilets, but it couldn’t be used for drinking or cooking.

In addition, Ed Gierke of the DES reported that a donated 5,000 gallon water tender of non-potable water is available for Brady community residents for household use other than drinking and bathing purposes. The location of the water tender is Garner and 1st Ave. SW.

Hermance noted that there was a meeting on Monday. ”These people are gracious and appreciative of what we’re doing, they are just an awesome community,” she said.