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Funds for canyon engineering study put to work

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Developments within the Gallatin Canyon rely primarily on septic systems, which don't treat wastewater as thoroughly. This can create potential drinking water contamination. PHOTO BY JESSIANNE WRIGHT

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A yearlong engineering study to better understand the hydrology of the Gallatin Canyon begins in July as part of the task of determining how to best manage water and wastewater along the precious river corridor. The Gallatin River Task Force received resort tax funds in June to pay for the project, which will better illuminate available options for centralized treatment for canyon businesses and residents; options could range from a centralized treatment plant to treatment pods throughout the canyon, according to Karen Filipovich, the consultant GRTF hired to lead the initiative to address water quality concerns in the canyon.

Without centralized wastewater treatment in the canyon, developments rely primarily on septic systems, which do not treat wastewater to as high a degree as a plant, even under proper maintenance. If not properly maintained, septic systems can contaminate drinking water from wells and the Gallatin River.

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