HELENA — North Star Subdivision residents say they’re beyond frustrated after their water was abruptly turned off Sunday evening.
At 7:30 p.m on Sunday, residents were informed by email that their water would be turned off for an emergency disruption from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM until further notice.
However, multiple residents MTN spoke with said their water was turned off over an hour and a half before the scheduled shut off.
“I ran out of water in the shower last night about 9:15 to 9:30 p.m. last night,” said North Star resident Jeremy Glatz. “I think this is beyond frustrating. Since 2007, every summer we’ve had water capacity issues.”
North Star Water and Sewer said in an email to residents, the disruption is the result of the current inability of the North Star wells to refill the water retention tanks during the evening hours.
The subdivision had been under restrictions for lawn watering.
Residents told MTN they were frustrated with their grass and plants dying, but were more concerned for the elderly and parents with young children that rely on formula not having water at night.
Glatz believes the water issue are due to mismanagement, and worries the community’s issues will only continue to build up.
“In the last few years we’ve seen a lot of strange stuff with the billing situation. We’re really short of water but we haven’t received a metered water bill all summer,” said Glatz. “The bigger concern is the big picture. What in the heck is going on over there. The inconvenience we’ll work through but it’s a really serious situation.”
The water shut off comes just two weeks after the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) ruled against North Star wanting to raise rates by more than $200 each month from each household. The Commission's final decision ultimately lowered the water rates for the area residents.
According to the North Star Home Owners Association, the PSC will be holding an emergency meeting Tuesday, Sep. 1 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss the current water situation.
Lewis and Clark County and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality are also looking into the matter.
MTN has reached out to North Star Water and Sewer and will update this story upon a response.