GREAT FALLS — Officials at Malmstrom Air Force Base have issued a warning about the drinking water supply on base.
In a Facebook post, they said that a "potential Bacteriological source was accidentally introduced into the Malmstrom AFB drinking water system on 19 September 2019. Air Force personnel are collecting water samples to look for the presence of bacteria, which could result in the formation of fecal coliform bacteria. Fecal Coliform bacteria, such as E. Coli, can be very harmful if consumed."
(NOTE: Malmstrom updated the post to reflect that the warning applies to Peacekeeper Park housing and housing near Peacekeeper Park.)
The warning states: "IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER: You must flush then boil your water prior to consumption!"
The post then provides the following information:
1) Before using water, turn it on and run it for at least one minute.
2) If you notice air bubbles or discoloration in the water, continue running until the water looks normal.
3) If you will use the water for cooking, dishwashing or consumption by people or pets, boil it for at least 2 minutes and allow it to cool prior to use.
4) Continue to boil all water used in cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, or used to feed pets until further guidance is given.
They note that boiling is the surest method to make water safe to drink and kill disease-causing microorganisms.
If bacteria is detected in the drinking water, Malmstrom AFB will run tests to isolate the location. They will flush individual pipes if the bacteriological growth can be isolated to a specific area. If it cannot be isolated, they will chlorinate the base water supply to eliminate the bacteriological growth.
For additional information, you are asked to call Capt Newton Ooi or SSgt Aaron Wright from the base Bioenvironmental Engineering office at 406-731-1580 or 406-781-9319.
The warning does not apply to people whose water is not supplies by Malmstrom - in other words, this does NOT affect Great Falls.