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City of Billings says water is safe after social media post claims contamination

Posted at 4:03 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:48:59-04

BILLINGS – The city of Billings is looking to quiet rumors of contaminated city water after a post circulating online claimed sewer water was mixing into the city drinking water.

The rumor started with a Facebook post shared hundreds of times, which stated in part, “The Yellowstone and sewer systems are flooding into the city water and it is not safe to drink.” The post went on to claim that people started getting sick from drinking the water early last week.

According to Louis Engels, the utility systems engineer with the city”s water quality division, that is simply not true.

“In no way, shape, or form would we ever mix sewer water with our drinking water,” said Engels. “They are completely separate systems. We go through a series of testing here to make sure that the water is always safe to drink. Every drop that we send out to from facilities that comes to people’s homes is completely safe.”

The sewage facility is downstream from the city water facility, making it nearly impossible for contaminated water from the sewers to travel into the drinking water.

“We are required by the state to notify people if there were an issue,” said Engels. “So we would be issuing public service announcements if there were some kind of issue with the water system and in this case, there wasn’t at all.”

Reporting by Samantha Harrelson for MTN News