Groundwater Protection

Septic Systems

The main groundwater protection regulations that affect individual landowners are those regarding septic systems. A permit from the county health department is required to install a new septic system. Prior to issuing a permit, a site inspection is conducted to ensure that the site meets state requirements to assure that the system will not pollute surface waters or groundwater. Contact your county health department for more information.

Septic System Maintenance

It is important to maintain your septic system to make sure it is operating properly to avoid groundwater pollution. See Understanding Your Septic System for more information.

More Information about Groundwater

A comprehensive table describing the numerous state laws that provide protection for groundwater is provided by Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Stay Well by Checking Your Well

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality encourages well owners to conduct an annual water well “check-up.” ┬áCheck out their ‘A Montana Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems‘.

The Ground Water Information Center

The Ground Water Information Center at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) conducts research and provides information on the groundwater resources of Montana. The data include well reports from water well drillers and groundwater quality reports. The databases are continually updated.

Flathead Valley Shallow Aquifer Map

The Flathead Lakers contracted with the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station to produce a map showing depth to groundwater for the shallow aquifer associated with the Flathead River above Flathead Lake (often called the Evergreen Aquifer). This map shows areas where the depth to groundwater is shallow. Special precautions are needed to prevent contamination of the shallow aquifer from surface pollution sources.