News & Announcements

WELL AWARENESS COURSES COMING THIS APRIL – REGISTER HERE

Back in 2019 by popular demand, the GLWQD will be conducting Well Awareness Courses.  The purpose of these informational short courses is to educate private well owners on best practices for protecting their drinking water quality.

Whether you are a homeowner or a resident, these courses will teach you what you need to know to protect the health of your family and to protect our shared water resources.

Courses are $20 each, click HERE for online registration and payment.  Online pre-registration is required.  Registration for a course must be completed by 8:00 AM on the day of that course.  Below are the available evening course options:

  • April 24, 2019  –  Intro Course
    Bozeman, MT @ Bozeman Public Library, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • April 25, 2019  –  Advanced Course
    Bozeman, MT  @ Gallatin County Courthouse Community Room, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Intro courses will cover the following: groundwater basics, septic system maintenance basics, yearly well inspection, yearly water quality testing, where and how to test, what to test for, and more.

Advanced courses will cover the following: groundwater basics, septic system maintenance basics, water rights, yearly well inspection and how to conduct a well assessment, identifying potential contamination sources, finding well logs, plumbing and water quality, yearly water quality testing, where and how to test, what to test for, and more.

GALLATIN STREAM TEAMS PROGRAM CELEBRATES 10 YEARS

Since 2008, The Gallatin Stream Teams Volunteer Monitoring Program has been collecting important water quality and quantity data on the rivers and streams of the Lower Gallatin Watershed.

Founded through the cooperative efforts of the Gallatin Local Water Quality District and the Greater Gallatin Watershed Council, the program trains volunteers to collect the data needed by water resource managers, and provides volunteers with an opportunity to learn about their watershed.

GLWQD has put together a Story Map highlighting a decade of dedication to data collection.

storymap
Interested in becoming a volunteer?  Learn more on our Stream Teams page.

ARSENIC IN WESTERN GALLATIN VALLEY GROUNDWATER

A March 6, 2019 press release from the Gallatin City-County Health Department outlines arsenic levels exceeding the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 10 parts per billion set by US Environmental Protection Agency in recent water quality samples from one of four wells serving the City of Three Forks.

While arsenic above the MCL is a health hazard, the press release states that short term effects are not often seen following exposures at the reported levels.  The well with the high levels of arsenic has been shut down and will be tested and monitored before it is put back into service.  Three Forks’ other three wells were well below the arsenic MCL.

The recent results in Three Forks serve as a good reminder for those with private wells, where there are no testing requirements, to test their well regularly.  In addition to annual nitrate and bacteria testing, the GLWQD recommends that County residents utilizing private wells west of the Gallatin River test their wells for arsenic at least once and consider repeating this screening every five years.

You can pick up a well test kit at the GLWQD office, where staff will explain the sample collection procedure and can provide recommendations based on your results.  For more information on well testing, call us at 582-3168.

Additional Resources
Full text of press release
2016 Western Gallatin Valley Arsenic Distribution Project Summary
Arsenic in Groundwater Fact Sheet

KBZK REPORTS ON GLWQD CITIZEN SCIENCE STREAM GAUGE PARTNERSHIP ON BRIDGER CREEK

2018.10.31gauge install
The CrowdHydrology gauge is upstream of the pedestrian bridge just north of Creekwood Drive.

Southwest Montana CBS news affiliate KBZK published a piece on GLWQD’s partnership with the US Geological Survey to install Montana’s first CrowdHydrology stream monitoring station, located on Bridger Creek in the Creekwood Subdivision.  CrowdHydrology turns citizens into scientists by providing an opportunity for anyone to report the water level to a database via text message, where it is reviewed before being posted for public use.

The KBZK story is available HERE.

Please take a moment to text in a reading if you’re walking Bridger Creek in the area!

Data from the gauge can be viewed or downloaded from the CrowdHydrology website HERE.

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:

ELEVATED GROUNDWATER NITRATE SUGGESTS NEW POLLUTION SOURCE IN WEST FORK OF THE GALLATIN RIVER

Full text of this article, by Stephanie Lynn of the Gallatin River Task Force (Reprinted from ‘Explore Big Sky’) can be found HERE.

GALLATIN COUNTY WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK

Gallatin County Extension is now compiling monthly water supply outlook reports for the Gallatin County region, reporting 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 can be found here.