| The City of Wolf Point through the City Council is responsible for the operation of the publicly owned wastewater collection and treatment facilities serving the City. The Fort Peck Tribe owns much of the land outside of the City but within the planning area, including the lagoon site. The Fort Peck Housing Authorities, an autonomous public agency, is responsible for a large housing program outside of the City but within the planning area.
The City of Wolf Point is the largest community within the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and the county seat of Roosevelt County. The City’s economy is based primarily on retail and wholesale sales with the City serving as a major commercial center for the Northeast corner of Montana. Another significant element of the City’s economy is the storage and processing of wheat and other grains based on the City’s location on Burlington-Northern main north line. Manufacturing within the planning area is relatively insignificant and at present there are no plans for any major expansion of manufacturing within the planning area.
A public high school and two public grade schools are located in Wolf Point. Total student population is approximately 1,000 with an estimated 200 students being bussed in from outside the planning area. A 50-bed hospital and 85-bed nursing home complex are also located in Wolf Point. Additional medical care is provided by an Indian Health Service outpatient clinic.
The 2000 census population of Wolf Point was 2,663. This figure does not include an estimated 800 people living outside of the City limits but within the planning area. This estimate is based on a housing count of 328 and a per house population of 2.45 (2000 census data). Included in this estimate is 328 Fort Peck Housing Authority residences presently being provided wastewater collection and treatment by the City.
Existing land use within the planning area consists of commercial and institutional development, low to medium density (10 to 25 people per acre) residential development and agricultural uses including dryland farming and pastureland on the undeveloped fringe of the area.
The Missouri River, the receiving stream for the existing wastewater discharge, has been assigned a B-3 water use classification by the State. This classification requires that the river be maintained suitable for potable (drinking), culinary and food processing purposes after conventional treatment; for swimming and recreation; for growth and propagation of non-salmonid (trout) fishes and associated aquatic life; waterfowl and furbearers; and agricultural and industrial water supply. Several downstream communities utilize the Missouri River as a source of domestic water after treatment.
Groundwater is a widely used source of domestic and stock water in the Wolf Point area. The City of Wolf Point obtains all of its domestic water from groundwater sources. The City has a total of six wells with three wells serving the water treatment facility. These wells draw groundwater from an unconsolidated alluvial aquifer at a depth of 80 to 100 feet. Capacities of the wells range from 900 to 400 GPM. Groundwater quality is generally considered poor with high levels of iron, magnesium and total hardness. The City of Wolf Point provides treatment (iron-magnesium removal and disinfection) for their well water prior to use.
The area’s climate is typical of the Northern Great Plains with a relatively low annual precipitation and an extreme temperature range. Annual precipitation averages 13.8 inches per year. With over 60 percent falling as rain during the May – August period. The average annual temperature is 41.3o F with an average July temperature of 70.5o F and an average January temperature of 8.0o F. Annual lake evaporation averages 26 inches per year.
The south half of the planning area lies within the ancestral flood terrace of the Missouri River. Subsoils consists of alluvially deposited sand, silt, and clays ranging in depth from 10 to 25 feet and underlain by clay glacial till. Depth to groundwater varies with surface elevation with a low of 10 feet near the lagoon. The north half of the planning area consists of higher
bluff overlooking the flood terrace. Subsoils consist of thin layers of loamy soils overlying soft shale and sandstone outcroppings.
The area’s air quality is generally good. Localized nuisance odors have been continually reported coming from the lagoon system, especially during spring turnover.
Wildlife within the area includes those species common to the riparian zone of Eastern Montana rivers. The wastewater lagoons serve as nesting areas for various species of waterfowl and shorebirds. The Missouri River supports populations of most common Eastern Montana fishes, including Northern Pike, Walleye, Sturgeon and Paddlefish. There are no known threatened or endangered species, which might be adversely affected by limited modification to the existing treatment facility.
No known archeological sites have been identified within the immediate vicinity of the treatment site. The letter from the SHPO is found in the Appendix.
As indicated in the tabulation below, the population of within the city limits of Wolf Point experienced a slight decline.
- 1950 - 2,557
- 1960 - 3,585
- 1970 - 3,095
- 1980 - 3,073
- 1990 - 2,854
- 2000 - 2,663
- 2020 - 3,950
These figures do not, however, reflect a substantial increase in the population of wastewater collection and treatment system service area due to extension of system to serve Fort Peck Indian Housing Authority residences. There are 328 sewer accounts for the Fort Peck Housing Authority, which translates into a population of another 800 people.
Based on the stated goals of the Indian Housing Authority and projections from the School District the population of Wolf Point and the service area is estimated to be 3,950 by the year 2020.
This plan consisted of an erosion control, pond dike stabilization project to provide structural support to the lagoons interior dikes against erosion form wave action. The project consisted of installing a synthetic Geo Web cellular confinement system. The plan was completed along with construction drawings and specifications in early 1994 with construction to follow in June of the same year. The project was funded through a low interest loan through the Montana State Revolving Fund (SRF) program.
2001 LAGOON IMPROVEMENTS
The 2001 lagoon improvements consisted of sludge removal form the lagoon’s primary cell. This process was completed after the cell was completely drained and settled throughout the 2001 summer. The sludge was then removed using a conventional method. Phase II of this project will include the sludge removal from the secondary cell and the addition of a cross dike within the secondary cell to create a second primary (storage) cell along with an improved aeration system.
2004 LAGOON IMPROVEMENTS
The 2004 wastewater treatment facility improvement project created two 7 acre cells that are 15’ deep and have a subsurface aeration system installed. The improvements include a new aeration building, improved piping to allow flexibility to treat the waste water.
In 2002 the City of Wolf Point discovered that one of their main production wells was losing capacity. They pulled the pump and motor and determined they were working, they then had the well screen cleaned, acidized and flushed. This work did not result in an increase in production so the formation they were pumping from had collapsed and a new well needed to be drilled. The well was to produce 800 gpm at a total depth of 115 feet. The 800 gpm well was bid at $64,077.00 and the final well actually produced 1100 gpm The well had a continuous drawdown monitor installed and was connected to the existing water treatment facility by means of a new radio control system.