Ways to obtain Great Falls Montana area rural Drinking Water: Part 1
The City of Great Falls obtains the municipal water supply from the Missouri River. It is treated and used for drinking, household use and to feed your sprinkler system for city dwellers.
But what if you want to live out of the city limits and need water? There are several possibilities, each with their own quirks. I will discuss one each day for the next several days.
The first and usually most expensive method to obtain drinking and household water is to drill a well.
If you plan on drilling a well for your water supply, a little research for the local are should start with GWIC, The Groundwater Information Center.
Cascade County specific information can be found here: http://mbmggwic.mtech.edu/sqlserver/v11/reports/CountyStatistics.asp?MTCounty=CASCADE
Here you will be able to see things like the number of wells in the county, the deepest well, the most shallow well, and yearly statistics. You can also obtain well logs for existing wells. This can give you an idea of how deep of a well you might need on your property.
Next you should obtain the services of an experienced local drilling company. These companies will have drilled several wells in the area and will be able to give you an idea of depth, cost per foot and what quality of water you will find.
A list of licensed well drillers for your area can be found here: http://dnrc.mt.gov/wrd/water_op/bwwc/pdfs/licensed_location.pdf
More information on Montana wells can be found here: http://dnrc.mt.gov/wrd/water_op/bwwc/default.asp
One of the nice perks of your own well, is no monthly water bill. City water bills can run from $35 a month in the winter months to over $100 a month in the summer if you are watering your grass heavily. However, once the well is drilled and up and running, there will be some ongoing costs involved. Things like: Electricity to run the pump(s), pump replacement, pressure tanks, filters, softeners, and general well maintenance. Typically the same company that drilled the well will offer ongoing maintenance for you, but there are other local companies that specialize in this area.
Tomorrow I will discuss a second method of obtaining rural water, a Cistern.