Montana city to hear if tap water is safe to drink after pipeline spills oil into river

EnergyAssociated Press

Authorities expect to determine Thursday if thousands of residents of a Montana city can drink from their taps after a broken pipeline spilled oil into a river and contaminated their water supply.

Jeni Garcin with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality said Glendive's water no longer shows elevated levels of benzene, a carcinogenic component of oil, in initial tests taken from fire hydrants.

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If a laboratory confirms the results, officials will ask the city's 6,000 residents to flush their taps by running them for 10 minutes. After that, the water would be drinkable.

Most of the oil from Saturday's 40,000-gallon spill into the Yellowstone River remains trapped beneath its frozen surface.

Glendive's water treatment plant installed more filters to catch any additional oil that gets into its intake line.