News & Announcements

GLWQD OFFICE IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

7/15/2020 – Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Gallatin County and around the state, GLWQD is currently closed for walk-in service.  We are still available to assist you by phone, and are happy to make arrangements for well test pickup just outside our office doors.  Please call (406) 582-3168 for more details.


BOZEMAN CONSIDERS URBAN RENEWAL DISTRICT AT IDAHO POLE SITE

The City of Bozeman is considering the creation of an Urban Renewal District (URD) at the site of the former Idaho Pole utility pole treating facility area in northeast Bozeman.  In 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the Idaho Pole Company site as a federal Superfund Site on the National Priorities List because the site was found to have contaminated soils and groundwater, which led to the subsequent treatment of contaminated surface soils on the site to commercial/industrial standards.  In February 2020, the EPA announced deletion of the surface and unsaturated subsurface soils from the National Priorities List.

URDs provide a tool for local governments to address many issues, including elimination of the conditions that contribute to blight, creating opportunity to invest in public infrastructure in support of economic development, and attaining urban density to ensure efficient delivery of public services.

Click HERE to view the City of Bozeman’s webpage hub, designed to help citizens learn more about URDs, blight, and potential environmental considerations and responsibilities at the site.

To learn more about the history of the Idaho Pole Company Superfund Site, click HERE.


BELGRADE AREA ZONING REGULATION DEVELOPMENT

A process in underway to gather input on zoning development within the 4.5 mile area surrounding the City of Belgrade, or the Extraterritorial Planning Area. Find out more and get involved in the process through beheardbelgrade.com.

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COVID-19 AND YOUR DRINKING WATER

While no research has occurred in Gallatin County, studies from other parts of the country have failed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in private wells or public drinking water systems.  Fecal contamination would be the most likely source of the COVID-19 virus in drinking water, but the risk of catching COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person appears to be low, according to the World Health Organization.

The most effective protection against viral contamination of a well water supply is regular maintenance of both well and septic system infrastructure.  A proper sanitary seal around the well casing is essential to block contaminants that might migrate from the land surface down the outside of the casing to the water table, bypassing the unsaturated zone that naturally helps cleanse groundwater.

In addition, GLWQD recommends annual testing for E. coli bacteria in all private wells used for drinking water.  This relatively low-cost test is an indicator that conditions might exist to allow other pathogens into your well.

Click HERE for more information on well testing.

Further reading on this subject can be found in publications by the Well Water Journal and the US Environmental Protection Agency.


WATERSHED HEALTH SUMMARY DELIVERS SURFACE WATER DATA AT A GLANCE

As part of the Surface Water Monitoring Network program, GLWQD will be developing regular Watershed Health Summaries that will present surface water data from the Lower Gallatin Watershed in a non-technical format aimed at enhancing the layman’s understanding of watershed health.

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To view the 2018/2019 Watershed Health Summary, click HERE.


LOWER GALLATIN CHOSEN AS THE NEXT WATERSHED FOR FOCUSED RESTORATION FUNDING BY MT DEQ

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has chosen the Lower Gallatin Watershed as its next priority basin. This means approximately $500,000 will be available to address impairment issues in the watershed’s streams and rivers.

DEQ hosts a Water Quality Planning Projects Page, where more information and regular project updates are posted. 


BIG SKY GROUNDWATER STUDY

A Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) Groundwater Investigation Program (GWIP) study is underway in the Upper Gallatin canyon area of Big Sky. To learn more about this study, take a look at the project fact sheet.


INTERACTIVE MAP FOR WATER QUALITY DATA

We are pleased to announce that a new online map is available for viewing water data in the District!  The map also contains tools for finding information on geology, groundwater flow, and other environmental data.  Access the GLWQD Map.

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WELL OWNER’S REFRESHER: TAKING CARE OF YOUR GROUNDWATER VIDEO

This video, put together by Montana State University Extension Water Quality is a great resource for homeowners new to using a well and septic, or a great refresher for anyone. Check it out here: