Domestic Well Drilling, Permits & Water Rights

Planning to drill a well?  Know the rules for your area.

City of Belgrade
All residents and businesses within city limits are required to hook up to the City’s municipal water supply.

City of Bozeman
Wells are allowed within the City limits for irrigation purposes only. The well cannot be connected to your household water distribution system.  Under no circumstances can the well be used to supplement or replace water supplied by the City of Bozeman.  Contact the City of Bozeman Water Department at (406) 582-3200 for more information, instructions, and to schedule an inspection.

Town of Manhattan:
All residents and businesses within city limits are required to hook up to the town’s municipal water supply.

Most homes outside these areas, whether in a subdivision or not, are on private wells.  If you are planning to build or develop land in these areas you do not need a permit to drill a well as long as the use is less than 35 gallons per minute or less than 10 acre-feet per year. This same rule applies if you are drilling an additional well on already developed property. However, if you are drilling a well on a property that is smaller than 20 acres, the well location may be regulated.  To find out, call the Gallatin County Environmental Health Department at (406) 582-3120 before contacting a well driller.

If the property you plan to build on is in an area or subdivision that has a community water system (or is in a water and sewer district), you will be required to connect to that system. It’s a good idea to check with your contractor and/or homeowners association for any specific rules or covenants pertaining to water wells in your area or subdivision.

If your property is located within a Controlled Ground Water Area (CGWA), you will need to apply for a permit from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to drill a well.  There are two CGWAs located within the Gallatin Local Water Quality District:  

Bozeman Solvent Site Controlled Ground Water Area
Idaho Pole Company Site Controlled Ground Water Area

MT Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
2273 Boot Hill Court
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 586-3136

All ground water wells (new, replacement, or existing) should be on file with Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC).  Contact the local office for more information:

2273 Boot Hill Court, Suite 110
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 586-3136