Conservation District Begins Fox Hills/Hell Creek Well Remediation Project
November 6, 2019 | View PDF
Sidney - The Fox Hills- Hell Creek Aquifer underlies the eastern one third of Montana, over the years this aquifer became an important water supply for livestock, industry, domestic and small communities. This aquifer was desired because the water flowed to surface. In the last 10 years, the aquifers have declined, or wells have completely lost production. The Richland County Conservation District conducted a survey of over 100 wells in 2015. As a result of that survey we were able to identify several issues that if corrected may help with the loss. The conservation district secured a Reclamation & Development Grant from the 2019 Montana State legislature to assist us with this project. The grant funds allow Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology to evaluate wells in the Fox Hills/Hell Creek aquifer, condition of the well casing and distribution plumbing inspected along with down hole investigation of casing and pressure depths measured to determine casing integrity. Also included in the grant are funds to help with costs of repairing, winterizing or rehabilitating the water wells.
In addition to the grant funds, the Local Working Group and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has identified this project as a potential Targeted Implementation Project (TIP). Landowners who participate in the USDA Farm Programs may be eligible for funding through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). The State Reclamation and Development grant funds would be used primarily for well investigations and less costly fixes. The federal EQIP program could assist with more expensive fixes.
Surveys have been mailed to landowners who were identified as having a well in the Fox Hills/Hell Creek Aquifer. If you did not receive a survey letter and you have a well in this aquifer please call the conservation office at 433-2103 x3001.
The Conservation District will be hosting an informational meeting to discuss the grant and opportunities for well owners. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at the Community Services Building 1201 West Holly Street, Sidney, MT. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting to learn more about the project.