First step: Settling


The city of Bozeman mainly gets its water from the Bozeman Creek watershed, with some also coming from the Hyalight watershed via the Hyalight Reservoir. What is a watershed? It's the land that drains rainwater into a particular waterway. If, when rain falls on a hillside, that rain runs down into Bozeman Creek, then we say that hillside is within the Bozeman Creek watershed.

The watershed for Bozeman measures hundreds of square miles. Rick wasn't sure exactly how many.

The first step in treating this water is to let it settle in big tanks, which removes the big debris and contaminants.

To keep its water pure, Bozeman doesn't allow anything else to happen in its watershed - no logging, no mining, no motors which could spill fuel or oil. People weren't permitted to go in the watershed, until studies showed that allowing people in the watershed actually made the water cleaner (people kept wildlife from sheltering too much in the watershed).

Bozeman gets unusually clean water into its water treatment plant, because it's fresh rainfall or snowmelt. Most cities, however, receive water that's already been used. Bozeman treats its waste water and releases it back into Bozeman Creek, where it is taken up by other cities downstream. Gill Geesey told the team that the water used by Bozeman will be used again by about 20 other cities before it is discharged into the Gulf of Mexico.

 Second step: Filter Third step: Chlorine