Understanding Water Supply “Categories” for Homes & Living Units in Flathead County

Understanding Water Supply “Categories” for Homes & Living Units in Flathead County

The FLATHEAD COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT recognizes two general groups of domestic.

The first group includes the following three types, collectively referred to as the Regulated Systems.

Community Water Supplies” defined in MCA 75-6-102(3) as:

(3)”Community water system” means a public water supply system that serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or that regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.  And

Public Water Supplies” defined in MCA 37-61-191(9) as:

(9) “Public water supply” means any community well, water hauler for cisterns water bottling plant, water dispenser or other water supply that serves 10 or more families or 25 or ore persons on a regular and continuous basis.

Public Water Supply Systems” defined in MCA 75-6-102(14) as:

(14) “Public water supply system” means a system for the provision of water for human consumption from a community well, water hauler for cisterns, water bottling plant, water dispenser, or other water supply that has at least 15 service connections or that regularly serves at least 25 persons daily for 60 or more days in a calendar year.

The second group includes “private” or “non-public” domestic water supplies.  Such supplies include private wells, springs, “individual water systems”, “shared wells”, cisterns, “multiple water user systems”, etc.)  Therefore, any household water servicing arrangement that does NOT fit one or more of the definitions (3), (9) or (14) above is NOT regulated by the Flathead County Health Department.

*The FLATHEAD COUNTY PLANNING OFFICE through its subdivision approval and enforcement efforts has an involvement with four levels of domestic water service arrangements.  Such involvement is specifically and exclusively limited to properties within residential subdivisions which were approved with “mandatory limiting conditions” regulating well locations and sewage disposal locations, together with amounts each can serve.  Within (and only within) such conditionally approved subdivisions, the installation and connection mandates must be observed.

The four categories as defined in the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM 17.36-101(20), (47), (28) and (38) are the basis for some current county approvals and newly proposed subdivisions.  Those four approval categories are:

(20)Individual water system” means any water system that serves one living unit or commercial structure.  The total number of people served may not exceed 24.  Or

(47)Shared water system” means a water system that serves or is intended to serve two living units or commercial structures.  The total number of people served may not exceed 24. Or

(29)Multiple user water supply system” means a non-public water supply system designed to provide water for human consumption to serve three through 14 living units or three through 14 commercial structuresThe total number of people served may not exceed 24.  In esti-mating the population served, the reviewing authority shall multiply the number of living units times the county average of persons per living unit based on the most recent census data. Or

(38)Public water supply system” means a system for the provision of water for human consumption from a community well, water hauler for cisterns, water bottling plant, water dispenser, or other water supply that has at least 15 service connections or that regularly serves at least 25 persons daily for any 60 or more days in a calendar year.

Note: regulations, definitions and administrative interpretations may change.  Likewise details of certain specific situations or properties may require further information.  Therefore contacting the County Health Department and the County Planning Office is recommended.