A water system 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 is regulated as a public water supply by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Plans and specifications for public water supply wells must be approved, as well as plans for construction, alteration or extensions of any water system or treatment facilities. Operators in charge of community public water supplies and nontransient noncommunity public water supplies must be certified by the DEQ.
Water supply systems for food and lodging establishments that do not serve 15 or more service connections or 25 or more people for any 60 or more days in a calendar year are regulated by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
- Prior to operating, constructing, altering or extending a public water supply, the applicant must submit an engineering report along with the necessary plans and specifications to the DEQ or a delegated division of local government for review and written approval.
- The engineering report, plans and specifications for a community public water supply must be prepared and designed by a professional engineer according to specific engineering criteria. An engineer may be required to prepare plans and specifications for a noncommunity public water supply when the complexity of the proposed system warrants that level of involvement by an engineer.
- The applicant must identify the legal entity responsible for the ownership, operation, maintenance and perpetuation of the public water supply system. If a change of ownership occurs, the DEQ must receive written notice within 30 days.
- The department has 60 days to approve, approve with conditions, deny the application, or to request more information. The DEQ or a delegated division of local government will issue a written approval for a public water supply system if it determines that the design report, plans and specifications are complete and the applicant has complied with department rules.
- If construction, alteration or extension of the community public water supply system has not been completed within three years after approval, the applicant must resubmit all of the information required in 1-3 above.
- The proposed public water supply system must comply with the Montana Water Quality Act (75-5-101 et seq. , MCA). See WATER QUALITY PERMITTING, p. 180.
- Within 90 days after the construction, alteration or extension of the public water supply system, the project engineer must certify to the DEQ that the required work was completed according to the approved plans and specifications.
An annual active service connection fee is required and must be postmarked or delivered to the department by March 1st. The annual fee for a community public water supply system is $2 per service connection, with a $100 fee minimum. The annual fee for a nontransient, noncommunity public water supply system is $100. The annual fee for any other noncommunity public water supply system is $50.
Water treatment operators must pay a $70 application fee that entitles the applicant to take one or more exams for 12 months from the date of application. Each exam is $70. The annual renewal fee is $30 (DW), $40 (WW) and must be postmarked or delivered to the department by June 30th.