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.

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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LOCAL POND EXPERIENCES HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM

The Gallatin City-County Health Department detected a harmful algae bloom (HAB) in a privately-owned pond in Sundance Springs Subdivision in Bozeman on July 10.  Officials say algal toxins, which are released by certain types of algae after rapid growth followed by decay, may have been the cause of the dog death that prompted the investigation.

You can read or listen to Montana Public Radio’s coverage on this event HERE.  To learn more, or if you suspect you have identified a HAB, please click here for additional information.

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, WellOwner.org, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

GALLATIN CD OFFERS COST SHARE PROGRAM FOR PRIVATE WELL TESTING

Since 1989, MSU Extension Water Quality has administered the Montana Well Educated program as a way for Montana well owners to learn about the quality of their drinking water.

The Gallatin Conservation District will now reimburse Gallatin County residents up to 75% of their well testing costs through the Well Educated program.  Those interested must fill out an application form and agree to share their testing results with local water resource managers so that these data can be used to further our understanding of water quality in the area.

To download an application and learn more about CGD’s cost share program, click HERE.

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.

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Photo by Antonio Quagliata on Pexels.com

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.