Private Water

Private Individual Wells

A private well uses ground water as its water source. Owners of individual water systems are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants. Whether you are planning a well, are a new well owner, or have owned a well for a long time, knowing the basics about water wells is important and can help you make sound decisions about your water well system. Some basics include:

• Understanding that proper well construction and continued maintenance are the keys to a safe water supply.

• At a minimum, it is recommended that you check your well every spring to make sure there are no mechanical problems.

• Your well should be tested once each year for total coliform bacteria and nitrates. If you suspect other contaminants, you should test for those as well.

• If you have any problems, you should consult a local expert, such as the Gallatin Local Water Quality District at (406) 582-3168 or the health department about the contaminants of concern.


You should also have your well tested if:

• There are known problems with well water in your area.

• You have experienced problems near your well (i.e., flooding, land disturbances, and nearby waste disposal sites).

• You replace or repair any part of your well system.

• You notice a change in water quality (i.e., taste, color, odor).

• There is future development planned in your vicinity.


Additional Resources

About annual well check-ups: MDEQ Water Protection

Information & education from Water Systems Council


More Information

For more information of this and other issues, check out our list of Educational Brochures.


Please contact us with questions at (406) 582-3120 or