Water Quality

Clean, safe drinking water is one of the most important contributions to public health. Protecting our drinking water from disease causing organisms or unsafe levels of chemicals is multi-faceted and requires effort from many agencies, professionals, and private individuals.

Public Water Systems (PWS)

A PWS is a water system that supplies water for human consumption and has at least 15 service connections or serves at least 25 people daily for a period of 60 days in a calendar year.   A PWS may be a community well, a water hauler for cisterns, a water bottling plant, a water dispenser, or other water supply.  The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates all PWS within the state.  Additional information on PWS and requirements can be found on the DEQ website.

Individual Water Supplies

Many homes in Cascade County have private wells or cisterns as their drinking water source.  CCHD does not regulate well drilling or the water quality of private wells or cisterns.  However, Registered Sanitarians can answer basic questions and provide guidance.   

Water Sampling Bottles

CCHD has sampling bottles available for water quality testing.   These bottles are supplied by certified labs and need to be dropped off or mailed to the appropriate testing lab.   Sampling instructions are included with the bottles.   Sample bottles available include e. coli/coliform bacteria, nitrates, and conductance.   These labs do provide other testing services but will need to be contacted directly to obtain the appropriate sample bottles and fee information.  

Helpful Resources

Well logs can be found at Montana Ground Water Information Center (GWIC) website, maintained by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

Educational Information for Private Well Owners can be found on the MSU Extension Water Quality Program website.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality provides information to individual water system users on a variety of topics, including: 

For more information, visit the DEQ Source Water Protection Program website.