Grants & Resources

Montana Waters: Clearly Connected – Reducing Stormwater and Septic Leachate Toxic Pollution in the Headwaters of the Columbia River Basin 

About the Program

The Western Montana Conservation Commission (WMCC) and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) aim to address the escalating challenges posed by toxic pollution in Western Montana’s watersheds, the headwaters of the Columbia River Basin. With rapid population growth and urbanization in the region, there’s an urgent need to mitigate the adverse effects of toxic pollution on water quality.

Program Goals

Research &

The program seeks to conduct comprehensive research to understand the baseline knowledge of residents regarding toxic pollution from stormwater and septic systems.

This data will inform the development of targeted Montana Waters: Clearly Connected campaigns aimed at raising awareness and promoting behavior change among residents and expand outreach in tribal and underserved communities.

Stormwater Toxics

Given the significant contribution of urban stormwater to toxic pollution, this program intends to implement green infrastructure projects to reduce runoff and mitigate pollution by:

  • Developing robust green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) programs
  • Implementing showcase GSI projects
  • Supporting residential GSI initiatives such as rain gardens and rain barrel programs

Septic Leachate
Toxics Reduction

Recognizing the impact of septic systems on water quality, especially in areas with dispersed urbanization, the program aims to incentivize proper septic system maintenance and operation by:

  • Providing financial support for residential septic system maintenance
  • Promoting septic system replacements/connectivity to sewer services
  • Supporting the construction of a septage treatment facility in Flathead County

The work will increase the capacity for local governments, agencies, and watershed groups to tackle some of the most pressing nonpoint source pollution issues. As Montana rapidly develops, proactively addressing stormwater and septic leachate pollution is integral to protecting Montana’s pristine water resources, which are so important to Montana’s ecology, recreational activities, economy and culture.

The WMCC will prioritize funding for projects in communities that have been previously overlooked or left out of environmental decision-making processes, including Tribal, rural, and low-income areas. Engaging with these communities to learn about their needs, priorities, and values while providing them with the tools to address toxic pollution and improve the health of their communities is the primary goal of this work.

Interested in funding? We want to hear from you!

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Contact the Grant Team

Heidi Fleury
Grant Program Specialist

Kristen Jordan
Grant Program Specialist

Krista Lammers
Grant Administrative Specialist