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.
GALLATIN WATERSHED STEWARDS 2020 PROGRAM KICKOFF – JUNE 6
Join the Gallatin Watershed Council in thanking our local creeks and kicking off their 2020 Watershed Stewards program on Saturday, June 6 from noon – 5pm at Bogert Park in Bozeman.
GWC will be hosting a community clothesline, where community members are invited to stop by and hang an item representative of their personal relationships with the wonderful Gallatin watershed. Creativity is encouraged – make a prayer flag, write a poem, or draw a picture – but items should be about 6″ wide and capable of being held up with a clothespin (provided). GWC’s new Steward Passports will also be distributed.
For more information, visit the event page HERE.
IDAHO POLE COMPANY SUPERFUND SITE – EPA ANNOUNCES DELETION OF SURFACE SOILS AND UNSATURATED SUBSURFACE SOILS
The surface and unsaturated subsurface soils at the Idaho Pole Company Superfund Site have been deleted from the National Priorities List of the nation’s most contaminated sites. Click here to view the Federal Register notice. This deletion was proposed in 2019, and the Gallatin Local Water Quality District board and the Gallatin City County Board of Health jointly commented on the deletion. EPA’s response to these joint board comments is available here.
For more information on the site, please view our Contaminated Groundwater webpage.
WATERSHED HEALTH SUMMARY DELIVERS LOWER GALLATIN SURFACE WATER QUALITY DATA AT A GLANCE
As part of the Surface Water Monitoring Network program, GLWQD will be developing regular Watershed Health Summaries that will present data in a non-technical format aimed at enhancing the layman’s understanding of watershed health.
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 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.
A link to Yellowstone Public Radio’s coverage of the announcement can be found HERE.
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.
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:
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.