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Q2 News

Water main break in Billings leaves many without water

By Hailey Monaco,


On Monday, Billings Public Works crews were repairing a large water main under the intersection of 17th Street West and Rimrock Road that broke late Sunday night.

The connection between a 12-inch pipe and a 20-inch pipe was broken, leading to massive amounts of water spilling out underground and residents down Rimrock Road losing water around 10:00 p.m. Sunday. Q2 News

Mike Dotson with Billings Public Works said a break such as this is rare.

“So, this is considered a transmission line. Anything over 12 inches is considered a transmission line," Dotson said. "This is a pretty severe water break that we don’t have very often.”

Dotson said the homes impacted started at 13th Street West down Rimrock Road "potentially to Rehberg." Homes in that area had water restored within a few hours Sunday night, but 17th Street West north of Rimrock Road remained without water Monday afternoon.

Dotson was hopeful that the water would be running again by Monday evening. Q2 News

“So, all we are doing right now is putting a Band-Aid on it. We’re going to straight pipe it so people at least have water in the meantime. And then we’ll have to dig it back up and fix it the correct way,” he said.

Billings Public Works had plans to begin working in the area Tuesday to attempt to avoid this situation from happening.

"That’s why we had all the locates already called in because we knew there was an issue. But we thought it was more of a service leak at first," he said. "Obviously, it turned into something bigger.”

Dotson said the water treatment plant lost a large amount of water because of this break.

“I was told at least 4 million gallons," he said. "It puts more of a strain on all the pumps and the plant. I mean, another reservoir (was) drained because that reservoir, it couldn’t keep up with this demand.”

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