Well testing results presented at Sewer District meeting

Well testing results shared at the Seeley Sewer District Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21 indicated one groundwater monitoring well near Spruce Street has nitrate levels over the state standard of 10 mg/l.

The 14 groundwater monitoring wells are collected quarterly by Bill Decker, Sewer District manager, for tests. Tests are performed by an independent testing lab. Of the remaining wells there were a total of four wells over 5 mg/l.

Sewer district board members voted proactively to have eDNA (environmental DNA) testing done right away on any monitoring well samples showing 5.0 mg/l or more of nitrates/nitrites to determine the source of the nitrites/nitrates, which indicate contaminants. The eDNA test will determine if the source is wildlife or human caused.

The Seeley Sewer groundwater monitoring well data charts show that there are fluctuations of up to 6.0 mg/l in nitrate/nitrite levels throughout the year in the groundwater monitoring wells.

Shannon Terriault from the Missoula Health Board commented that the nitrate and sewer topics in Seeley Lake are one of three topics in a division of the 2023-2025 Missoula County Health Department Strategic plan.

“Part of the Health Board County Strategic Plan is to improve current regulations for groundwater and nitrates in the Seeley Lake area,” Terriault told the Pathfinder. “It’s a really important topic and the Health Board is looking forward to discussions with the Seeley Lake community.”

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19 6pm at the Barn.


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