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Gallatin Local Water Quality District
Contact TypeContact Information
215 West Mendenhall, Suite 300
Gallatin Co. Courthouse Annex
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 582-3168
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M-F, closed holidays
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Dog Waste & Water Quality

The Gallatin Valley Land Trust, City of Bozeman, Gallatin Local Water Quality District, US Forest Service and the Greater Gallatin Watershed Council have teamed up to bring a fresh message to the unpleasant and unhealthy problem of dog waste on the Sourdough Canyon Trail. 

Bozeman Creek (also known as Sourdough Creek) supplies 40% of Bozeman’s drinking water.  The stream does not meet water quality standards once it leaves the mountains and enters the valley.  The stream is impaired by excessive sediment and nutrients along with high levels of E. coli bacteria, which is an indicator of fecal contamination, including dog waste.  Elevated levels of E. coli bacteria indicate disease-causing organisms are likely present which can be harmful to human health.  Fortunately, Bozeman’s new water treatment plant effectively removes E. coli bacteria and provides a safe drinking water supply for Bozeman residents. 

To make dog waste cleanup more convenient, a secondary dog waste station has been installed a few hundred yards up the Sourdough Trail, which makes dog waste bags readily available for users.  Eye-catching signage about dog waste and water quality along with brochures about the impacts of dog waste on water resources are at the trailhead. 

  • Dog waste contains E. coli bacteria and other harmful organisms and can transmit disease, making water unsafe for humans, wildlife and other dogs.  Dog Waste Shower sign.pdf

  • Dog waste contains nutrients that encourage algae growth which, in excess, harms our fisheries and reduces the aesthetic value of a stream.  Dog Waste Droplet sign.pdf

  • Dog waste left by the side of the trail introduces pollutants into our waterways.    Dog Waste Water Flow.pdf

Bozeman Creek Stream Health Report Card 2012-2014
With support from a Small Urban Waters Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, the GLWQD established an urban stream monitoring network in Bozeman.  This network consists of 12 monitoring stations on Bozeman Creek, Catron Creek, Mandeville Creek and Matthew Bird Creek.  In 2012 and 2013, GLWQD staff, with assistance from volunteers with the Gallatin Stream Team, conducted monitoring activities and collected water quality data that will be used to establish baseline information and build a database for understanding long-term trends in water quality.  
A stream health report card for Bozeman Creek was recently published highlighting some of the results from this field work.  Hard copies are available at the GLWQD office and can be downloaded here.  Bozeman Stream Health Report Card 2012-2014

Well Test Kits Available
The GLWQD and MSU Extension Water Quality bring you the WELL EDUCATED Program, with 'at cost' pricing on well water analysis services.  
Sample bottles to test your drinking water are available for pick-up from our office (215 W. Mendenhall, Suite 300) or Environmental Health Services (215 W. Mendenhall, Room 108).  Staff can assist you in determining what water parameters to test for and help you select a testing package.  Call 582-3168 for more information.  
Private well owners should have their drinking water tested annually.  

Protect, preserve and improve ground water and surface water quality within the Gallatin Local Water Quality District
In 1991, the Montana Legislature passed a new law giving local governments the authority to form local water quality districts. The Gallatin Local Water Quality District was created by Resolution No. 1995-55 of the Gallatin County Commission, and approved by the Montana Board of Environmental Review in 1997. The focus of the Gallatin Local Water Quality District is on water resources education and water quality monitoring for increased awareness of water-related issues and public health.

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Gallatin County, Montana
311 West Main Street
Bozeman, MT 59715