Update on Drinking Water
Steps to Clear Public Water Supply

for Unrestricted Use
January 22, 2015

Can I use my water again? Yes

Yes. The Water Treatment Plant is providing clean water. Confirmation sampling of the distribution lines shows that the water meets federal drinking water standards. The final step is for residents and businesses to do any final flushing of their systems. Much of this may have already happened. For faucets that haven’t been turned on in the last few days, the Unified Command recommends flushing to dispose of any residual tainted water. Bottled water remains available at Eastern Plains Event Center at 313 South Merrill Avenue in Glendive from 10:00 am to 8:00pm. There is enough water to provide two gallons per person daily through the weekend.

How do I flush the lines in my home? (See further flushing instructions below)
Residents can flush their Water systems by turning on all taps for at least 15 minutes. To the extent feasible provide ventilation while flushing, using ventilation fans and open windows. Consider changing your water filters after flushing, dispose of ice and run ice makers through two cycles. If water dispensers or ice makers are connected with a filter, the water should be flushed and the filter replaced. If you detect an odor and it bothers you, leave the room while the ventilation is running and return when the odor dissipates. If the odor persists, please report those instances to the hotline so they can be logged and mapped. The hotline # is 888-959-8351.

Where can I get more information
A community center has been established at the Dawson County Courthouse at 207 W. Bell in Glendive. Representatives of Bridger Pipeline will be available to answer questions about the response. A representative from the Governor’s office will also be available. The center will be open from 9 am to 5 PM daily. EPA, other Federal and state responders and the Bridger Pipeline company update local government and the media regularly.  Stay tuned to your local radio and television stations and newspaper web pages for the most up to date information on the response.

Click on the links below to visit these web sites for more information:
Or contact Wendy Thomi, EPA Public Information Office at 406-457-5037 or thomi.wendy@epa.gov


The Unified Command consisting of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and Bridger Pipeline continues working on assessment and cleanup activities related to the pipeline break; oil recovery from the river and assessment of habitat and wildlife resources.


The following Frequently Asked Questions for Flushing Your Water Pipes can be found by clicking on
Bridger Pipeline LLC Poplar Response


Frequently Asked Questions for Flushing Your Water Pipes


Do I need to run every faucet in my house? Do they need to be opened at the same

Yes, we need to do all of the faucets at the same time, in the following sequence: Each household needs to open all of the cold taps on their water faucets and run them for 20 minutes. This will flush all of the inlet lines and make sure clean water is running into the house. After that, close all of them and open all hot water taps on your water faucet and run for 15 minutes.

Will there be a harmful off-gas and should I ventilate while I run my water?

Benzene is highly volatile, meaning it evaporates into the air easily. You may notice an increased odor while the system is flushed. This should improve as the system is flushed. We recommend opening a window at each end of the house and turn on all vent fans while you are flushing the pipes. The amount of Benzene you will be exposed to during this process is below harmful levels, even though you may smell it. If you don’t like the odor, leave the room while the ventilation is running and return when the odor dissipates. If the odor persists please report those instances to the hotline so that they can be logged and mapped. The hotline number is 888-959-8351

Do I need to run my outside spigots?

No, you don’t need to run them now. If you haven’t been running your spigots, there is no way for contamination to have gotten into the lines. If you are concerned, run your outside spigots in the spring for at least a minute prior to using them for drinking. 

What should I do about service lines that were shut off prior to the spill?

They can be reopened and used as normal since all water in the distribution system
is now safe for consumption. If they weren’t used after Saturday morning, there is no way for contamination to have gotten into the lines.

How many times do I need to flush my pipes?

Flush them one time and resume normal use of your water.

What should I do about my toilets?

Because the water in the toilet is not for consumption, you do not need to do anything. If you are concerned, flush all toilets twice.

Do I need to scrub my sinks and bathtubs?

No, Benzene will not adhere to surfaces.

Water Heaters:

Do I need to drain my water heater completely?

It does not need to be drained completely, but you may if you want to. As the water heater empties during the flushing process, it simultaneously refills with clean water. The flushing procedure will remove all of the contaminants.

Has permanent damage been done to my water heater?

No. No heavy oil products have made it into the water distribution system. All contaminants readily dissolve in water and will be removed through the flushing process.

Do I need to replace my water heater?

No, see previous response.

RO Systems:

Do I need to change the filter on my RO system?

Almost all RO systems include a carbon pre-filter. The carbon pre-filter should be replaced. All other filters can be replaced on their normal schedule.

How does this affect my water softener?

There will be no long term effects to water softener systems. After you complete your flushing, you should run a re-generation on your water softener. Your water softener automatically regenerates periodically. If you have questions about this, see your water softener installer.

Who will pay for the new filters if needed?

There will be a claims process in place in a few days and people can file a claim to recover the cost of the new filters.

Water Bill:

Who will pay for the cost of the water it takes to flush my system?
The approximate volume of water used for flushing for an average household will be 150-200 gallons. The cost of the water is about a dollar. Bridger is working with the city to rebate individual customers $5 on their water bill. This is the about five times the cost to the average residential customer. For users who pay water bills for multiple homes, such as trailer parks, the rebate will be $5 per connection. For heavier users, like the hospital or businesses, an appropriate amount will be rebated.


       The City of Glendive was incorporated on October 7, 1902. Glendive is the county seat of Dawson County located in eastern Montana. It is set between the badlands of Makoshika State Park and the Yellowstone River. According to the 2010 census the population of Glendive is 4,935. In the West Glendive and surrounding urban area there are an approximately 2,500 people.  The land area in the city is 3.3 square miles. Glendive offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities that are enjoyed by residents of the city and the population from many miles around. There are many sites in the Glendive area that offer recreational activities ranging from parks and open space to facilities developed for specific organized sports such as swimming, golf, baseball, basketball, football and soccer.

Map of Glendive

 City of Glendive
300 S. Merrill Ave
Glendive, MT 59330