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High nitrates: Health advisory issued for Worden Ballantine water system

Posted at 10:44 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 08:13:29-04

BILLINGS — Worden Ballantine Yellowstone County Water and Sewer District customers are advised not to drink water from the tap after the water tested high for nitrates, according to a health advisory issued by the water district Tuesday.

Boiling tap water with high nitrate levels does not make it safe to consume or cook with. Bottled water is the safest alternative, water district officials wrote.

To read the full health advisory, click here.

Bottled water is being given to people while supplies last. For information on how to get it call the water district at 406-967-2550, or visit the office at 2449 Main St. in Worden.

The district serves Worden, Ballantine and parts of unincorporated Yellowstone County. The town of Huntley is not served by the district.

The Worden Ballantine water system has been contaminated by surface water, according to the health advisory.

"Chlorine disinfection residual has been increased but is not completely effective for surface water contaminants," the advisory read.

People with compromised immune systems, infants, children under the age of six months, elderly and pregnant women should seek guidance from a health care professional before consuming the tap water.

Water district officials have ran into this problem before. Last summer, officials said the community could be forced to construct a new multi-million water treatment plant.

Because finding where surface water is coming into contact with the ground water is like finding a needle in a haystack. The point of contamination could be anywhere along dozens of miles of underground collector drain.