POLSON, Mont. - The Flathead Basin Commission is revamping their efforts in how they protect the water quality coming in and out of their rivers, lakes and for homeowners that could be sitting on water septic systems.

The Flathead Basin Commission decided to make things a little easier to navigate, by creating maps and now onto a newer model. Showing where you land and what those water septic systems could look like over the next 10 to 40 years. Especially for the river and lake corridors stretching from Ronan, Polson, and into the upper Flathead area.

By 2030, experts predict almost half of those water systems could fall into the high and extreme water quality risk category, with time and maintenance being a huge factor.

Kate Wilson, the commission administrator with the Montana dept. Natural resources and conservation says by building this model "it allows to maybe find out where there is unpermitted septic are so if we know where the permitted ones are and to say ‘hey this may be a real old system that was here before 1978 before they started requiring permits.’"

Digging into changes along the Flathead has begun, as more discussions on how to go about geographically finding all water systems, which could take months to even years to find out.

"The goal really is to finish the model for the south basin where those planners and those decision-makers are using it at least as an initial tool,” said Wilson.

The model isn't ready just yet, at least for the next few months. However current maps for new homeowners to reference are available in all counties falling in the Flathead Valley.

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