News & Announcements

STATE AGENCIES SEEK PUBLIC’S HELP TO LOCATE HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are enlisting the public’s help with identifying suspected Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) sites. HABs are a seasonal phenomenon on Montana’s lakes, reservoirs and ponds that can make people sick and even kill pets and livestock.

Blooms of potentially toxic blue-green algae appear as “pea soup,” “grass clippings,” or “green latex paint.”  The algae usually are suspended in the water column or aggregated into floating mats; they do not grow from the bottom as do mosses or “water weeds.” Algae bloom in abundance this time of year on Montana’s ponds, lakes and reservoirs. While not all varieties are harmful, some can produce dangerous cyanotoxins.

If you think a lake or pond shows signs of a HAB, keep children and pets out of the water. If you suspect an HAB-related illness in a person or animal, including livestock, call Poison Control immediately at 1-800-222-1222.

To learn more about HABs or to report a suspected HAB, visit www.hab.mt.gov or call 1-888-849-2938. You may also report a suspected HAB by emailing: HAB@mt.gov

DRAFT CHANNEL MIGRATION ZONE MAPS AND REPORTS COMPLETED FOR EAST & WEST GALLATIN RIVERS

Tony Thatcher of DTM consulting and Bozeman geomorphologist Karin Boyd have completed draft channel migration zone (CMZ) maps and reports for the E. and W. Gallatin Rivers.  CMZ mapping is based on the understanding that rivers are dynamic, moving laterally across their floodplains through time, and is a science-based tool that can be used to help the public, landowners, and decision makers develop an understanding of river dynamics, along with the inherent risks and benefits associated with those processes. The draft reports can be found here.

GALLATIN COUNTY EXTENSION COMPILES DROUGHT RESILIENCY REPORTS

Gallatin County Extension is now compiling Drought Resiliency Index reports for the Gallatin County region, reporting two current years of data from nearby NRCS SNOTEL sites and USGS stream gages and comparing it to longer term averages.  The reports also include the NRCS Surface Water Supply Index and the NOAA’s Drought Monitor maps.  Online reports, as well as printable PDFs can be found here.

PHARMACEUTICALS IN GROUNDWATER IN THE GALLATIN VALLEY – FINAL REPORT PUBLISHED

The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) and the Gallatin Local Water Quality District collected wastewater, groundwater, and surface-water samples from different land-use settings across the Gallatin Valley to screen for the occurrence and distribution of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and to evaluate the effectiveness of different wastewater treatment processes on removal.  The findings of the study have been summarized in a report published by MBMG.

ARSENIC IN GROUNDWATER – FINAL REPORT AVAILABLE

GLWQD has completed the 2016 Western Gallatin Valley Arsenic Distribution Project, which focused on domestic wells in the Amsterdam-Churchill area.  A report of our findings is available here.  A project summary is also available.

For more information about arsenic in groundwater, please read our fact sheet.

FEMA UPDATING FLOODPLAIN MAPS

Gallatin County is currently working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Montana DNRC to update Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the West Gallatin River and Bozeman Creek and its tributaries.  New Flood Insurance Rate Maps from this project are expected to be finalized in 2018 after a technical and public review process.

The finalized maps may be used by lenders, insurance agents, county government, property owners, and developers to determine areas of flood risk.  Gallatin County GIS has put together an interactive map viewer for visualization and planning (non-regulatory) purposes.  Users are advised that the interactive map may not align exactly with the official FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which will be used by lenders.

Visit the Gallatin County Floodplain Mapping Webpage for more information, to use the interactive mapper, and to learn about upcoming informational open houses.