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Volunteers pass out clean drinking water in Ennis

By Jordan Moore, KTVM Reporter, jmoore@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 05 2014 05:57:50 PM MDT
ENNIS, Mont. -

We continue to follow the latest developments out of Ennis where the water is still not safe for residents to drink. According to a press release from the Ennis Police Department on Saturday, officials are continuing to test and disinfect the water lines with chlorine. Town officials are meeting the state of Montana Department of Environmental Quality standards by completing this four-day cycle of disinfecting and testing. We are told they should have an update on these test results by Tuesday afternoon.

Chief of Police in Ennis, Scott Newell, tells NBC Montana they are working around the clock to make sure residents have clean drinking water. The town has picked up the tab to bring in the water by the truckloads from Bozeman.

"For right now the town of Ennis is purchasing the water, making it available to residents during the no drinking phase that we are under, and as soon as water can get restored to them," said Newell.

We were at that water station on Saturday where volunteers had already seen seventy people by noon. Jake Lohrenz is a 17-year-old volunteer who is helping carry the cases of water to people's vehicles.

"Everybody is coming together, we are all helping the community," said Lohrenz.

Lohrenz is not personally effected at his home because they have a well, but he did experience what having no water means last week during school.

"The first day this happened we didn't have anything to drink, all the bathrooms, you couldn't use them," said Lohrenz.

We watched car after car pull up looking for clean water. One of those cars belonged to Jennifer Scholler.

"We are gonna drink the bottle water and then help cook with the gallon water," said Scholler.

We found the water bottles were also being put to good use at businesses across town. At the Riverside Motel the owners were placing the water bottles in every room. They wanted to ensure their guests had enough to last them through this ordeal.

In the 13 years Anne Lippincott and her husband have owned the motel, they say they cannot remember a situation like this one.

"No, but Ennis has handled it very well, giving out water to everybody, and try to make this as easy as possible," said Lippincott.

The town of Ennis still needs volunteers at the water station. If you are able to help out, you are asked to call Ennis Town Hall at 406-682-4287.