ASRWSS Continues To Provide Water Services During Pandemic
Assiniboine and Sioux Rural Water Supply System general manager Ashleigh Weeks reported, 'the Eagle Shield Water Treatment plant and other facilities of ASRWSS are functioning normally during the coronavirus crisis. Water treatment plant operators, field staff and office staff are taking sound protective measures to avoid infection and absence from their regular duties. Water users will continue to receive safe, adequate and reliable water deliveries.”
Pursuant to the guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security-Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Assiniboine and Sioux Rural Water Supply System is an essential drinking water system. The ASRWSS provides clean, potable water to over 20,000 residents — in addition to schools, health care facilities that include hospitals and dialysis services, and other businesses — in northeast Montana.
Board of directors chairman Bill Whitehead said, “Functioning critical infrastructure is imperative during the response to the COVID-19 emergency for both public health and safety, as well as community well-being.
Therefore, the ASRWSS has and will continue to operate to provide this essential service.”
Weeks also provided the following press release from EPA on the impact of coronavirus on drinking water to assure residents in northeastern Montana that their tap water is not a source of infection: There is no higher priority for EPA than protecting the health and safety of Americans. EPA is providing this important information about COVID-19 as it relates to drinking water and wastewater to provide clarity to the public. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.
Weeks said that construction during 2020 will begin in rural areas of the reservation in late April and early May with two-man and threeman crews on the east and west sides of the Fort Peck Reservation. Macon Construction and Bridges Construction will be the principal contractors.
Connections will be made to individual homes in the south half of the eastern half of the Reservation between the Poplar River and Big Muddy River where branch line construction is completed, tested and disinfected. Connections should be completed by late summer. Branch lines in the north half of the east half of the reservation between the Pop-