2019 MAFB November Health Advisory

  • Published
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

Health Advisory
Malmstrom AFB – MT0000515

This advisory is a precautionary measure in response to the potential presence of bacteria in the on-base water supply. There is no confirmation of bacteria at this time; the water is being tested as a part of protocol to ensure the safety of all Malmstrom Air Force Base residents after a water pressure loss/drop that occurred Friday morning from 5:30 - 7:30 a.m. This pressure loss may result in backflow from areas of the distribution which may cause water quality issues. Although this is not an emergency, as our residents, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

Currently, we are monitoring the base drinking water. We have taken samples for testing at a certified lab: Energy Labs in Helena, MT. We expect the sampling results to be available on 2 Nov 19, at 4 p.m. Total coliform bacteria are naturally present in the environment and are generally not harmful themselves. However, their existence may indicate the presence of other potentially harmful bacteria.

What should I do?
• The water is safe for drinking, making ice, food preparation, brushing teeth, handwashing, showering, bathing and washing dishes. You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, please consult your doctor.

• People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. Due to disinfectant levels in the system, we do not anticipate any health issues.

What is being done?
Malmstrom Air Force Base is doing everything possible to resolve the issue. The health of our Airmen and their families is of the utmost importance and all measures are being taken to ensure everyone is being cared for.

The original cause of the pressure loss was a water pump overloaded by routine maintenance. The pump was returned to service within a half hour of being identified. Personnel flushed the water lines for several hours to ensure adequate disinfection levels across the base. We are testing the base drinking water parameters, and verifying that there is no bacteria in it. In the very unlikely event that test results indicate a bacteriological concern, we will issue a Boil Water Notice. We will continue to provide updates as the more information becomes available.

For more information, please contact Bioenvironmental Engineering at 406-731-1580 (Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) or 406-781-9319 (on-call phone), 341 OMRS/SGOJ, 7300 North Perimeter Rd Malmstrom AFB, MT 59402.

Please share this information with anyone you know who drinks the base water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

This notice is being sent to you by Malmstrom AFB
State Water System ID#: MT0000515.

Consultation with State on 1 Nov 19
Date signed: 1 Nov 19

Notice distributed by Capt Thad Schafer__________________________

Date and method(s) distributed: base all email, Facebook and Balfour Beatty Housing

Water System Class: C
Monitoring Period: October-November
County: Cascade