Drinking Water

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 Supplies (PWS’s)

By definition, a PWS means a system for the provision of water for human consumption from any community well, water hauler for cisterns, water bottling plants, water dispenser, or other water supply that has at least 15 service connections or that regularly serves at least 25 people daily for a period of 60 days in a calendar year. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) regulates all public water supplies in the state. Information on the different classifications of PWS’s and monitoring requirements can be found at:http://www.deq.mt.gov/water.mcpx

EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Levels for Drinking Water

Individual Water Systems

Many homes in our community have private wells as their drinking water source. Our office does not regulate well drilling or the water quality of individual wells. We do provide water sampling bottles to individuals who then send their samples to a certified lab. Our Sanitarians will also help answer questions regarding wells and drinking water. Below are links to other information on drinking water.

Well logs can be found at Montana Ground Water Information Center (GWIC) website maintained by the MT. Bureau of Mines and Geology at www.mbmggwic.mtech.edu

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


The Montana Department of Environmental Quality provides information to individual water system users on a variety of topics, including: disinfecting water systems, septic systems, wildfires and your well and septic system, contaminated wells, arsenic in drinking water, protecting your well before a flood, and managing your septic system after flooding. For more information, visit the DEQ Source Water Protection Program Website.