If you’ve felt like Helena’s tap water has tasted a little funky lately, that’s because maintenance to the Tenmile Creek Water Treatment Facility has taken a little longer than expected.
The maintenance scheduled for Oct. 1 to mid-November ended up lasting until Dec. 4, meaning Missouri River water has continued to flow in Helena. Though the algae in the Missouri River changes the taste and smell of Helena's water, it is safe to drink and meets all water quality standards.
Jason Fladland, the water treatment supervisor for the city of Helena, said the project finished Monday evening but Helenans will notice an eight to 10 day lag in water quality as the system switches over.
The Tenmile Water Treatment Facility can service about 3 million gallons of water per day. Helena’s water system contains about 22 million gallons of water at any given time.
The maintenance project at Tenmile involved replacing a filtration system that takes half of the dirt from the creek out before it hits the Helena water system. Now that maintenance is finished, this part of the filtration system will last an estimated 25-30 years before requiring more work.