Local Water Quality Issues

What's the Problem?

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) decides what water bodies are impaired and with what pollutants. If a stream is labeled impaired, it means that the stream does not meet Montana water quality standards. The stream has levels of a pollutant that are higher than what is healthy for either aquatic life, recreation activities, or drinking water. 

In Kalispell, we have 4 steams and rivers that are listed as impaired or unhealthy by Montana DEQ.

Photo by Aimee Brunckhorst

Panorama of top of Lake with mountains

Pollutants of Impairment and Impaired Uses

 
Ashley Creek
Spring Creek
Stillwater River
Whitefish River
Alteration in Vegetation
X
X
X

Arsenic  
X
   
Chlorophyll-a
X
   

Dissolved Oxygen
X
X
   
Flow Modification
X
X
   
Habitat Alterations  
X
   
Oil and Grease      
X
Nitrate-Nitrite
X
X
   
PCBs      
X
Sediment
X
 
X
 
Temperature
X
   
X
Total Nitrogen 
X
X
   
Total Phosphorus
X
X
   
IMPAIRED USE
Aquatic Life, 
Primary Contact 
Recreation
Aquatic Life, Primary 
Contact Recreation, 
Drinking Water
Aquatic Life
Aquatic Life

For more information on water quality impairments visit Montana DEQ's Clean Water Act Information Center.

What Should I do?

Reduce your contributions of pollutants to stormwater runoff as much as possible. Common residential pollutants can come from:

Photos by Steve Muller

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