Voice of the River

Well Testing Update

Yesterday, the Gallatin River Task Force handed out almost 50 well test kits, 24 related to the Yellowstone Club spill. This event was part of National Groundwater Awareness Week, a nationwide effort to spotlight one of the world’s most important resources: groundwater. 

For homeowners who missed the event, well test kits are available at the:

  • Gallatin River Task Force Office: 47855 Gallatin Road, Suite 4, Big Sky, MT
  • Big Sky Water & Sewer District Office: 561 Little Coyote Road, Big Sky, MT
  • Gallatin Local Water Quality District Office: 215 W. Mendenhall, Suite 300, Bozeman, MT

The Yellowstone Club will pay for total coliform, nitrate, pH, and conductivity analyses for homeowners affected by the spill. A note to all homeowners:

The scope of this well sampling program is for homes with private wells along the South Fork, West Fork downstream from the South Fork confluence, and the mainstem Gallatin from the West Fork confluence downstream to the mouth of the canyon. If your sample shows coliform present, a repeat sample will be taken by staff from the Big Sky Water and Sewer District or the Gallatin River Task Force.


Samples will be analysed for total coliform, nitrate, pH, and conductivity. If your sample tests positive for total coliform, the lab will then check it for E. coli bacteria.


You can take your samples directly to Bridger Analytical Lab at 7539 Pioneer Way, Suite B., Bozeman, MT or to the Big Sky Water & Sewer District Office at 561 Little Coyote Road in the Meadow Village. Coliform samples have a 24-hour hold period, so it is very important that you get the sample to the lav or district office the same day that you collect the sample. Please drop off your samples no later than 3 PM at the District Office or 4 PM at Bridger Analytical.

Note: Coliform bacteria are a general group of bacteria present in soil, water, and air. Fecal coliform (E. coli) are a group of coliform bacteria present in the blood and excrement of warm-blooded animals. There are many natural sources of total coliform bacteria and E. coli, which may not be related the spill. Replicate samples will address other potential sources of contamination.

Attached is the Chain of Custody Form for Bridger Analytics



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