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After weeks of water main fixes, water is back on and safe to drink at MSU-Billings

Posted at 10:05 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 00:05:13-05

BILLINGS – Water is back on the campus of MSU Billings after a water main pipe broke near McMullen Hall in late November.

Those on campus say a pandemic might just be the perfect time to do major repairs. That’s because campus is quiet from remote learning and currently students are away on winter break.

“We have old pipes on campus and they're going to break, and that's why we do the fix,” said Communications Director Maureen Brakke.

But in recent weeks, it seems there been fix after fix for water problems. At the beginning of November, campus was closed because of another water-main break.

It was fixed a short time later.

But then it happened again, at a completely different place on campus.

“On Nov. 30, we noticed that water was coming outside of on the north side of McMullen Hall and actually in the building as well,” said Brakke. “We found that was a quite cracked water main pipe.”

Brakke says the pipes were installed sometime in the 1970s.

So while the fix is being done, those still left on campus had to adjust. Brakke said a few dozen were impacted.

“There were just a few buildings that we had to shut the water off to and so for those buildings we made sure we had porta-potties outside. We delivered cases of bottled water, next to the drinking fountains so everybody had access to drinking water,” she said.

And finally, as Brakke told MTN News, the water was back on Tuesday. She also said that water testing has come back and there’s good news to report.

“The water is safe to drink,” she said. “And yeah, I think this was a great time for this to happen.”

That’s because school is on break and renovations were already in the works accommodating dorms for life in an ongoing pandemic.

“Apart from the water main, what we are doing over winter break is we're outfitting a few of our residence hall rooms with flat-screen TVs, and just more accessories for students who may have to be quarantined this upcoming spring semester,” she said.

A perfect time according to those with MSU-Billings to get some much-needed repairs done inside and out.

She says students return to classes in January and the sidewalk that’s been torn up from repairs, should be fixed.