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MONTANA
Population: 902,195

Information on the state of Montana is available for the following topics. To review this information, click on the links below.

Contacts| Regulations, Statutes & State Codes | Quick Facts | Septic Stats

Onsite Demonstration Programs | Onsite Management Communities

 

 

Contacts:
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Theresa J. Blazicevich
Subdivision Section Supervisor, or
Bonnie Lovelace
Water Protection Bureau Chief
Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Permitting and Compliance Division
PO Box 200901
Helena, Montana 59620-0901
(406) 444-5344 or (406) 444-3080 (respectively)
(406) 444-1374 (fax)

tblazicevich@state.mt.us

blovelace@state.mt.us

http://www.deq.state.mt.us/

 

Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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Montana State Regulations

Montana Constitutions, Statutes and Codes


Circular DEQ-4
Montana Standards for On-Site Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems
December 2000

New regulations were adopted in December 2000. The State will be making modification to address statute changes adopted April 2001. Revisions will likely be effective in Spring 2002. For a list of technologies approved for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal in Montana, see Circular DEQ-4 at the Web site above. Besides the approved technologies, there is a general category for experimental systems that can be approved if they meet the criteria under experimental systems in Circular DEQ-4 and review criteria in the regulations.

In Montana, surface discharge for onsite systems is an option for systems that meet effluent quality standards for a discharge permit. An NPDES permit from the DEQ is required for certain flows. The DEQ Water Protection Bureau, Permits Section, is the permitting agency.

State Code allows for drainfield area/size reductions based on loading and treatment. Pressure dosing, chambers, and sand filters are considered for drainfield reduction.

Funding to assist homeowners replacing failing or installing new systems is possible through forming sewer districts or other entities. Questions may be directed to:

Tom Livers
DEQ/Planning, Prevention, and Assistance Division (see address above)
(406) 444-6776 (phone)
(406) 444-6836 (fax)
tlivers@state.mt.us

Information about ongoing onsite wastewater demonstration, research, or testing projects may be obtained from Steve Custer, Professor, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, (406) 994-6906.

Montana Code recognizes or requires management programs/contracts or management districts to monitor and maintain onsite systems or individual septic disposal systems. Maintenance/management contracts are required for aerobic treatment systems, chemical nutrient-reduction systems, and experimental systems. Local agencies have authority to adopt or require maintenance/management programs for shared or multiple user systems or other systems as necessary to protect water quality.

The State does not issue permits for septic systems per se; in Montana, every parcel of land smaller than 20 acres must be approved for suitability for any wastewater system, including onsite systems. Once suitability is determined, the permit is granted at the county level.

In Montana, a failed system is not defined or regulated by the State. All records, including the most common reasons for system failure, are maintained at the local level.

The State does not have a licensing/certification program for onsite wastewater professionals, such as installers and designers, but many of the local governments do. Local health departments may also be contacted for information about licensing/certification for site evaluations/inspections in Montana.

For information about municipal wastewater regulations, contact:

Jim Melstad
Public Water and Wastewater Section Supervisor
DEQ, Community Service Bureau
(406) 444-4400
jmelstad@state.mt.us

 

Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: About 300,000(?); 1990 U.S. census reports about 135,000.

Number of new systems installed each year: NA

Failure definition: Only by gross hydraulic failure; beyond that, it is not defined.

Number or proportion of systems presently failing: NA

Number or proportion repaired annually: NA

Number or proportion replaced annually: NA

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require alternative technology (e.g.,
sand filters, pressure dosing): A very small number, probably fewer than 100 per year.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal): Probably no more than 5 per year.

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: $2000-$3500; range, $1500-$12,000.

Cost of a centralized sewer tie-in (including fees and cost of the sewer lateral): NA

 

Septic Stats:
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SQ MILES TOTAL PERSONS INSIDE URBAN AREA OUTSIDE URBAN AREA RURAL FARM RURAL NON-FARM TOTAL HOUSING UNITS OCCUPIED VACANT INSIDE URBAN OUTSIDE URBAN RURAL FARM RURAL NON-FARM PUBLIC SYSTEM DRILLED WELL DUG WELL OTHER PUBLIC SEWER SEPTIC TANK OTHER MEANS
MONTANA 145,388 799,065 208,743 211,246 45,718 333,358 361,155 306,163 54,992 89,843 93,675 16,657 160,980 236,532 100,222 9,051 15,350 218,372 135,371 7,412
COUNTIES
BEAVERHEAD 5542 8,424 0 3,991 902 3,531 4,128 3,211 917 0 1,804 264 2,060 2,120 1,644 138 226 1,884 2,083 161
BIG HORN 4994 11,337 0 2,940 846 7,551 4,304 3,448 856 0 1,303 349 2,652 2,381 1,520 142 261 2,402 1,631 271
BLAINE 4226 6,728 0 0 1,205 5,523 2,930 2,379 551 0 0 392 2,538 1,768 782 77 303 1,712 1,185 33
BROADWATER 1191 3,318 0 0 378 2,940 1,593 1,280 313 0 0 142 1,451 759 704 35 95 731 791 71
CARBON 2048 8,080 0 0 1,392 6,688 4,828 3,269 1,559 0 0 481 4,347 2,409 1,953 123 343 2,454 2,214 160
CARTER 3339 1,503 0 0 765 738 816 589 227 0 0 247 569 311 382 47 76 286 485 45
CASCADE 2698 77,691 63,531 0 1,819 12,341 33,063 30,133 2,930 26,728 0 618 5,717 28,239 3,061 490 1,273 27,242 5,502 319
CHOUTEAU 3973 5,452 0 0 1,657 3,795 2,668 2,064 604 0 0 621 2,047 1,938 366 112 252 1,360 1,290 18
CUSTER 3783 11,697 0 8,461 995 2,241 5,405 4,631 774 0 4,006 354 1,045 4,180 1,121 63 41 4,333 1,011 61
DANIELS 1426 2,266 0 0 498 1,768 1,220 919 301 0 0 223 997 703 446 52 19 702 449 69
DAWSON 2373 9,505 0 4,802 873 3,830 4,487 3,691 796 0 2,391 384 1,712 3,001 1,351 106 29 3,274 1,156 57
DEER LODGE 737 10,278 0 7,517 148 2,613 4,830 4,060 770 0 3,559 70 1,201 3,480 1,160 92 98 3,405 1,376 49
FALLON 1620 3,103 0 0 629 2,474 1,525 1,166 359 0 0 213 1,312 1,126 368 18 13 1,071 420 34
FERGUS 4339 12,083 0 6,051 1,592 4,440 5,732 4,603 1,129 0 2,867 590 2,275 3,724 1,206 487 315 3,433 2,157 142
FLATHEAD 5098 59,218 0 23,492 1,718 34,008 26,979 22,834 4,145 0 10,635 673 15,671 14,753 10,010 643 1,573 10,696 15,740 543
GALLATIN 2506 50,463 0 26,071 1,770 22,622 21,350 19,015 2,335 0 10,407 623 10,320 12,872 7,942 245 291 13,313 7,868 169
GARFIELD 4667 1,589 0 0 751 838 924 577 347 0 0 237 687 248 540 76 60 274 539 111
GLACIER 2994 12,121 0 3,329 650 8,142 4,797 3,816 981 0 1,532 225 3,040 3,606 896 146 149 3,358 1,253 186
GOLDEN VALLEY 1175 912 0 0 200 712 432 330 102 0 0 93 339 110 268 40 14 207 206 19
GRANITE 1727 2,548 0 0 337 2,211 1,924 1,051 873 0 0 140 1,784 620 1,037 84 183 718 1,094 112
HILL 2896 17,654 0 10,322 1,060 6,272 7,345 6,426 919 0 4,335 390 2,620 5,427 1,478 171 269 5,569 1,595 181
JEFFERSON 1656 7,939 0 0 236 7,703 3,302 2,867 435 0 0 94 3,208 1,523 1,480 123 176 1,195 2,015 92
JUDITH BASIN 1870 2,282 0 0 779 1,503 1,346 908 438 0 0 295 1,051 301 459 369 217 429 797 120
LAKE 1494 21,041 0 3,254 2,210 15,577 10,972 7,814 3,158 0 1,561 726 8,685 4,345 4,445 384 1,798 3,254 7,440 278
LEWIS AND CLARK 3460 47,495 0 35,274 746 11,475 21,412 18,649 2,763 0 14,870 259 6,283 13,029 7,582 397 404 13,490 7,532 390
LIBERTY 1430 2,295 0 0 411 1,884 1,007 788 219 0 0 155 852 662 124 44 177 568 387 52
LINCOLN 3612 17,481 0 2,644 319 14,518 8,002 6,668 1,334 0 1,168 97 6,737 3,380 3,457 275 890 1,941 5,763 298
MCCONE 2642 2,276 0 0 749 1,527 1,161 844 317 0 0 275 886 406 641 68 46 394 740 27
MADISON 3586 5,989 0 0 751 5,238 3,902 2,387 1,515 0 0 282 3,620 1,478 2,079 99 246 1,512 2,275 115
MEAGHER 2391 1,819 0 0 190 1,629 1,259 709 550 0 0 68 1,191 580 413 24 242 479 543 237
MINERAL 1220 3,315 0 0 84 3,231 1,635 1,282 353 0 0 31 1,604 541 803 18 273 522 1,007 106
MISSOULA 2598 78,687 57,006 2,746 744 18,191 33,466 30,782 2,684 24,387 953 309 7,817 23,337 9,166 561 402 18,074 15,083 309
MUSSELSHELL 1867 4,106 0 0 405 3,701 2,183 1,661 522 0 0 180 2,003 1,207 913 39 24 1,126 954 103
PARK 2656 14,562 0 6,701 803 7,058 6,926 5,619 1,307 0 3,137 289 3,500 4,089 2,198 125 514 3,603 3,025 298
PETROLEUM 1654 519 0 0 175 344 293 209 84 0 0 72 221 101 137 24 31 95 171 27
PHILLIPS 5139 5,163 0 0 1,024 4,139 2,765 1,931 834 0 0 320 2,445 1,612 889 95 169 1,490 1,062 213
PONDERA 1624 6,433 0 2,850 694 2,889 2,618 2,246 372 0 1,267 260 1,091 1,980 280 139 219 1,705 883 30
POWDER RIVER 3297 2,090 0 0 711 1,379 1,096 805 291 0 0 263 833 310 691 24 71 309 717 70
POWELL 2326 6,620 0 3,344 384 2,892 2,835 2,234 601 0 1,636 121 1,078 1,688 780 287 80 1,648 1,084 103
PRAIRIE 1736 1,383 0 0 436 947 749 568 181 0 0 163 586 91 598 50 10 464 189 96
RAVALLI 2394 25,010 0 2,737 1,436 20,837 11,099 9,698 1,401 0 1,476 572 9,051 2,619 7,882 230 368 2,719 8,099 281
RICHLAND 2084 10,716 0 5,217 1,162 4,337 4,825 3,956 869 0 2,363 424 2,038 2,732 1,753 280 60 2,966 1,749 110
ROOSEVELT 2355 10,999 0 2,880 908 7,211 4,265 3,694 571 0 1,236 315 2,714 3,210 898 110 47 3,175 957 133
ROSEBUD 5012 10,505 0 3,185 727 6,593 4,251 3,479 772 0 1,192 299 2,760 2,965 1,127 98 61 2,978 1,171 102
SANDERS 2762 8,669 0 0 707 7,962 4,335 3,397 938 0 0 278 4,057 1,925 1,458 340 612 1,150 2,918 267
SHERIDAN 1676 4,732 0 0 611 4,121 2,417 1,899 518 0 0 214 2,203 1,540 798 16 63 1,540 826 51
SILVER BOW 718 33,941 0 31,415 195 2,331 15,474 13,899 1,575 0 14,335 67 1,072 14,178 1,162 79 55 14,275 1,164 35
STILLWATER 1794 6,536 0 0 998 5,538 3,291 2,523 768 0 0 351 2,940 1,279 1,565 225 222 1,420 1,727 144
SWEET GRASS 1855 3,154 0 0 584 2,570 1,639 1,281 358 0 0 251 1,388 802 598 58 181 774 800 65
TETON 2272 6,271 0 0 1,709 4,562 2,725 2,329 396 0 0 586 2,139 1,343 885 367 130 1,416 1,232 77
TOOLE 1911 5,046 0 2,763 446 1,837 2,354 1,922 432 0 1,302 158 894 2,046 95 6 207 1,684 629 41
TREASURE 979 874 0 0 185 689 448 339 109 0 0 70 378 212 203 11 22 194 240 14
VALLEY 4920 8,239 0 3,574 1,418 3,247 5,304 3,268 2,036 0 1,744 509 3,051 3,774 1,001 189 340 3,731 1,424 149
WHEATLAND 1423 2,246 0 0 376 1,870 1,129 849 280 0 0 153 976 699 350 34 46 681 444 4
WIBAUX 889 1,191 0 0 240 951 563 454 109 0 0 78 485 310 232 15 6 310 251 2
YELLOWSTONE 2635 113,419 88,206 5,686 1,980 17,547 48,781 44,689 4,092 38,728 2,596 744 6,713 42,463 4,799 461 1,058 38,637 9,982 162
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 245 52 0 0 0 52 46 24 22 0 0 0 46 0 46 0 0 0 46 0

 

Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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There is no information available on Onsite Demonstration Programs in Montana.

Onsite Management Communities:
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There is no information available on Onsite Management Communities in Montana.