Groundwater Baseline Sampling Project

The Phillips Conservation District announces a new ground water sampling program. Rural water users have expressed concern about the potential effects on water supply from oil development. Water users voiced concerns about chemical storage, production water disposal, frac water injection, waste management accidents at well-heads or injection pits, accidents and/or spills during chemical and product transportation and large withdrawals of ground water.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) and Montana Salinity Control Association (MSCA) are assisting the conservation district with this program. The purpose of this program is to establish a baseline of current conditions where water quality is potable or usable and/or identify wells that may have oil and gas development impacts.

Phillips Conservation District will prioritize and select domestic and stockwater wells to evaluate based on the proximity to a potential source of contamination such as active or abandoned oil/gas wells, injection wells, waste management or chemical management areas. Landowner interest and cooperation and well accessibility will be a part of the selection process. Selected wells must be registered with the Ground Water Information Center (GWIC). In most cases, a well was assigned a GWIC number when the well driller filed the well drill log and/or through the DNRC water rights process.

Each well selected in this program will be evaluated on-site for field parameters and water availability. Well samples will be analyzed for drinking water quality and for indicators of contamination specific to energy development activities.

Well sampling and lab fees total approximately $1,200 per well, but a DNRC grant covers most of the expense, so Phillips County residents can participate in this program for $50.00. A signed participation agreement from the well owner is also required.

Phillips Conservation District agreed to participate in this program as they feel it’s a good way for local well owners to capture current groundwater quality and quantity information.

If you are interested in participating in this ground water sampling program, or have any questions, please contact Jenifer Anderson, Administrator for the Phillips Conservation District at 406-654-1334 ext. 101 or email to begin the sign-up process.

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