DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

DEQ accepting public comment on proposed septage land application in Madison County

Helena — The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comment on a proposed septage land application site in Madison County.

Ray Smail, owner of South West Septic, has submitted an application for the approval of a site for the land application of septage, portable toilet waste, sump pumpings, graywater, and grease trap waste on private land owned by the applicant.

Septage is the liquid and solid material removed from a septic tank, cesspool, portable toilet, or similar treatment works that receives only waste and wastewater from humans or household operations. The land application of septage is an economical and environmentally sound practice. The application at this site will add nutrients, organic matter, and moisture, improving the soil for the continued production and enhancement of grasses at the site.

The acreage proposed for land application activity is located more than 500 feet from any occupied or inhabitable building. DEQ rules require setbacks of greater than 150 feet from surface water and more than 100 feet from any state, federal, county, or city-maintained road. The proposed sites are more than 100 feet from any drinking water supply.

DEQ has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed site. It can be viewed at:  Comments must be submitted by August 28, 2015 to DEQ Solid Waste Section, PO Box 200901, Helena, MT or emailed to:  For more information about the applications or the permit process please call the DEQ Solid Waste Program at 406-444-5300

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