NewsMontana and Regional News


Schools still closed in Browning due to water issue

Browning High School
Posted at 10:12 PM, Jan 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 10:50:04-05

The extended winter break continues for students in Browning. Schools Superintendent Corrina Guardipee-Hall told MTN News on Wednesday that there will be no classes at in-town schools on Thursday or Friday due to continued water pressure issues:

Due to the continued water issues in the community of Browning we will be cancelling school for in town schools only for Thursday and Friday, January 4 & 5, 2024. These two days will need to be made up at a later date due to our aggregate hours. Again, there will be NO School for students and no work for all 9th month staff.

For 12 month staff, it will depend on our water level in the morning. I will get this notice out to them by 6:00 a.m. We are working on getting timesheets and Po's in, W2's and payroll as well as monitoring and keeping the buildings ready when we are able to return to school.

Two Medicine Water Company has placed the community under water restrictions as they try to locate a new part at their water treatment plant.

The part has been broken since December 24, and they are working to get the new part in as soon as possible.

On Wednesday evening, the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council said in a news release:

WE ARE NOW UNDER A BOIL ADVISORY! Due to Water system losing pressure. So please at this time boil water for three minutes before using.

UPDATE FROM MANAGER at Two Medicine Water. The VFD (variable frequency drive) was delivered to the water plant on Wednesday morning. During the installation process the VFD had a major defect and failed. Another VFD is being overnighted which could take a few days to arrive. Hopefully when the New VFD arrives there will be no problems. We will start to produce more water to the Browning community. Please continue to be patient with Two Medicine Water and continue to conserve water at this time.

We will update you as we get more information.

(1st REPORT, JANUARY 2) Students in Browning got an unexpected extension to their winter break as schools were unable to open on Tuesday due to a water pressure issue.

Water restrictions in Browning

Two Medicine Water Company has placed the community of Browning under water restrictions as they try to locate a new part for their water treatment plant.

On the front door of the company building, a sign says:

The VFD (variable requency drive) on one of the trains at the Stu Miller Water treatment plant has become faulty. We are in the progress (sic) of locating another VFD part, until we can get the new part installed. The Browning community will remain under water restrictions.

Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. Sincerely, Josh Bechel, TMWC Manager

According to Bechel, the part has been broken since Christmas Eve, and they are expecting the replacement to arrive by Wednesday morning. Bechel said that the issue is not that there is no water, but that there is not enough pressure in the system, making it a fire hazard for schools to hold classes.

Another source that wished to remain anonymous told us that Browning Middle School is having the most issues, apparently not even having enough water to flush toilets.

Two Medicine Water Company said that they expect to have levels back to normal by Wednesday morning, but due to the current level of water in the system, schools could be delayed in opening another day.