photo by Julie Spencer

Regular Meeting
Bigfork Stormwater Advisory Committee (BSAC):
November 28, 2012

12:30 P.M.
Bethany Lutheran Church


Committee Members:
Sue Hanson,

Harry Hyatt

Vice Chairman


Bob Keenan

Paul Rana
Mike Koopal


Mission Statement:
The Bigfork Stormwater Advisory Committee will provide timely recommenda-tions to the Flathead County Commissioners on stormwater system improvements in the Bigfork area to protect the quality of local water resources.
Due to space limitations on this website,a pdf copy of the PER and 48 North Assessment is available on the county website: on Commissioner page.


“To Keep It Blue, It’s Up To You”


Sue Hanson, BSAC Chairman, presents CFBB President, Paul Mutascio, the 2012 Stewardship Award in recognition of their Community Leadership, Promotion of Community Awareness and their Proactive Leadership with Clean Water Issues.  Pictured also, Left to Right, Paul Rana (CFBB), Bob Chrysler, Gretchen Gates, Donna Lawson, Hilary Shepard, Jerry Bygren, Tara Hoveland, Mark Langlois, John Howard and Harry Hyatt (BSAC).


Pollution is being discharged
directly into Bigfork Bay

There is ongoing and regular discharge of pollutants including oils, grease, sediment, heavy metals and fecal coliform bacteria entering the Swan River, Bigfork Bay, and into Flathead Lake from the Village area of Bigfork.  These pollutants enter through Bigfork’s untreated stormwater system, and areas with inadequate stormwater containment, which carries nutrients and contaminants that are harmful to the ecosystem and the aquatic life of the lake. This discharge into Bigfork Bay, Swan River, and Flathead Lake threatens recreational activities and creates a potential hazard

to human health and flood safety.

Pollution Verified

The testing of water quality in 1996 by the Flathead Biological Station in Bigfork Bay revealed that stormwater runoff from Bigfork contains high

concentrations of fecal Coliform bacteria and other nutrients (specifically during the summer and fall precipitation events) that exceed EPA criteria for human contact and pose a public safety threat.  In the subsequent ten-year period we can only surmise it has certainly become substantially worse.

photo by Sue Hanson
Neither Pacific Power nor Flathead County has installation records of the of the Bigfork stormwater system. Speaking with long time residents of the area, and the Bigfork Water and Sewer District (BWS), it is apparent that the stormwater system was installed before 1964, when the sewer system was built. The assumption is that the storm water system was installed in the mid-fifties at the same time as the water system for the Bigfork Village area. Four Corrugated Metal Pipes (CMP) empty stormwater and the pollution it contains directly into Bigfork Bay.  Obvious drains, clean-outs, CMP’s and catch basins in the streets surrounding the Bigfork Bay have been located and noted. It is not known whether all are functioning nor where all these drains empty. However all ultimately do empty into the Swan River, Bigfork Bay and Flathead Lake.


The Bigfork Stormwater Project was initiated by the Flathead County Commissioners to update the Bigfork Stormwater System infrastructure. The decision to upgrade the system was made, in part, to control minor flooding in Bigfork caused by undersized stormwater conveyance pipes.  Another factor in the decision was the large volume of unfiltered water containing pollutants, nutrients and fecal coliform bacteria that the stormwater system regularly delivers to Bigfork Bay. replika rolex

Early in the project the Flathead County Commissioners selected citizen members to serve on the Bigfork Stormwater Advisory Committee (BSAC) to provide to them recommendations related to the project.  One of the first steps for the project was to develop a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER).  A second Engineering Assessment was buy replica watches completed in December 2009 by 48 North Civil Engineering, which focuses on changes in stormwater flow from school property and a more in-depth study of the Bridge Street area south of Bigfork Bay.   The Bigfork Public Schools have installed two detention and filtration systems (2008 & 2009) and five additional dry wells on school property to reduce the amount of stormwater reaching

the conveyance system on Grand Drive. 


Construction was completed and filtering systems brought online June 20,2011.  The slip line between the Embrium Jellyfish and the outlet into Bigfork Bay will be was completed in the fall of 2011.   best replica rolex

The public is welcome to attend any regular BSAC meetings held the last Wednesday of each month, 12:30 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church or contact Chairman, Sue Hanson, at 837-5323 or email:

Jordan "Corky" Lambert (Imbrium Systems Corp.) displays one of the 19 filtering units to be installed in the Jellyfish unit.

View through the manhole of the Imbrium Jellyfish.  Unit is 15' wide and filters stormwater before discharge into Bigfork Bay/Flathead Lake.

Crews from Filterra Bioretention Systems installed two lilac trees and two dogwood shrubs in the four Filterra units along Grand Dr.



The following have supplied financial support to facilitate this project.

2007:  $45,000 ($15,000-DNRC Planning Grant. $5,000-Flathead Basin Commission and $25,000-DEQ 319 ’07 Funding Cycle)

2008:  $60,000-DEQ 319 ’08 Funding Cycle

2009:  $145,000-DEQ 319 '09 Funding Cycle, $100,000 - DNRC (09) and $625,000 - Treasure State Endowment Program Grant

2010:  $200,000 DEQ 319

2011:  $100,000 DNRC/RRGL

Total grant funds to date $1.3 million

Bigfork Storm Advisory

photo by Flathead County GIS Department



(All minutes are available electronically)

Minutes of Meeting, Bigfork Stormwater Committee
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
12:30 pm

Attendees for this meeting:
Sue Hanson, Chairwoman
Harry Hyatt, Vice Chair
Paul Rana, Secy
Dave Christensen, Bob Keenan Committee Member
Brett Walchek 48 North Engineering

1229: Meeting opened by Sue. A quorum was deemed present and the meeting was called to order. The agenda (with minor change) for this meeting was adopted. Minutes from September 26, 2012 meeting were approved.

Administrative Items: Dave Christensen tendered his resignation. Sue said that she would have a discussion with Pam Holmquist.

Old Business:

1235: Sue talked about the Pet Waste stations. Bob had a conversation with several of the business owners in and around the Bigfork Inn. Up to 4 waste stations would be needed in this general area. Discussion of mounting devices ensued. Flathead County has given permission to install 3, thus far; 1) Boat Dock, 2) Fishing Access just near HWY 35 bridge (south side), 3) near Western States Insurance on Bridge Street. Additional stations will be near Eva Gates, near Sliters Park, and additional spots in accordance with CFBB. Further discussions are ongoing. Sue will check on the $11,000.00 available for education and outreach. Two options for signage were agreed upon… “Stormwater pollution has many causes. Thanks for reducing one of them.” , and,… “ Appreciate your help in keeping Stormwater runoff free of pet waste.” Sue asked Brett for comments. Brett mentioned that U-dig be contacted before any pet stations are installed. Sue will also ask Dave Prunty to have the Pet Waste Stations to be mailed to his office. We don’t know when the funds will be allocated for the stations and the signs. Also, Brett mentioned that CFBB could take on the challenge of the RSID, without the commissioners making a direct decision, such as they did with the committee.

1300: The CFBB meeting will be on 15 November at 1200 and the stewardship award will be presented to CFBB at that time.

Next meeting will be November 28th @ 1230.

1305: Adjournment

Submitted by: Paul J. Rana, Secretary, BSAC


Minutes of Meeting, Bigfork Stormwater Committee
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
12:30 pm

Attendees for this meeting:
Sue Hanson, Chairwoman
Harry Hyatt, Vice Chair
Paul Rana, Secy
Bob Keenan Committee Member

1231: Meeting opened by Sue. A quorum was deemed present and the meeting was called to order. The agenda for this meeting was adopted. Minutes from August 29, 2012 meeting were approved.

Administrative Items: NSTR (nothing significant to report)

Old Business:

1235: Commissioner meeting on the 13th of Sept was non conclusive. Next meeting with the Commissioners will be on the 2nd of October at 0945. One commissioner already has indicated support, and one has indicated non support. The other commissioner is hanging in the wings on a decision. The Committee again will ask the Commissioners to approve expenses to move toward the Resolution of Intent for the RSID.

There is still $11,000.00 available for education and outreach. One option for the use of this money will be for the installation of Pet Waste Stations. Discussion about how to use the Pet Waste Station. Number of stations was determined to be approximately 15, including the replacement bags . Members of the community will help to install once easements and state agencies and utilities approval are secured, and permission from private property owners’ have been obtained. CFBB will maintain the stations as they are currently doing. Motion made by Harry to have the committee to purchase Pet Waste Stations. Seconded by Bob. Unanimous approval. Sue will pursue the logistics of gaining these stations. Paul will fashion a sign that links the station usage with stormwater. Bob suggested further that the school be asked if there are any areas they think could be enhanced by some of the funds. Sue will ask the principal.

1300: One nomination for Stewardship award was CFBB. Another suggestion was for a former commissioner (Joe Brenneman) . Motion was made by Paul that CFBB be nominated for the Stewardship award. Motion seconded and vote was unanimous.

Next meeting will be October 31st @ 1230.

1312: Adjournment

Submitted by: Paul J. Rana, Secretary, BSAC