Sidelined Crow water plant gets a shot in the arm

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Gary Whiteman, of Crow Agency, washes his hands in the Little Bighorn River on the Crow Indian Reservation while fishing with his grandson Nacoma Jefferson recently near one of the area’s water treatment facilities. Whiteman said he considers himself fortunate to have grown up in Crow Agency, which is the only spot on the reservation that has water treatment. Areas outside of town rely on cisterns and wells.

RYAN BERRY, Billings Gazette PAUL HAMBY

CROW AGENCY — Gary Whiteman, a resident of Crow Agency since the 1970s, pulled dinner out of the Little Bighorn River for himself and his grandson last Thursday.

The same river that delivered the giant catfish has also delivered the 59-year-old’s drinking water since he was his grandson’s age. Just upstream from where Whiteman and 8-year-old Nacoma Jefferson were hooking catfish, a facility was taking in river water to be treated and distributed to about 1,300 people living in and around Crow Agency.

Two facilities treat the water flowing from the Little Bighorn River, one managed by tribal authorities

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