Be Source Water Wise

Clean water is vital to our personal health and the health of our community. As our community grows, we also increase the likelihood for pollutants to enter our waterways and underground aquifer. Part of FTR’s mission is to raise awareness about existing and potential contaminant sources within the Teton Watershed, along with engaging residents and businesses on the importance of clean water protection. Understanding local hydrology, water quality concerns, and actions you can take to help will help safeguard (and improve) water quality in the Teton River watershed.

Explore clean water resources, learn about septic maintenance, participate in nitrate testing, create a Trout Friendly Lawn and more throughout this section.  


What is a Watershed

Proper disposal of household hazardous waste is essential to protecting Teton Valley’s water resources for years to come. Learn what is considered household hazardous waste and how to properly dispose of it.

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Threats to Clean Water

As a homeowner with a private septic system, it is your responsibility to preform regular maintenance on your septic tank.  Our Septic Incentive Program encourages residents to do just that and protect Teton Valley’s water resources.


WaterSmart Teton Valley

Our community depends on clean and abundant water to support our strong agricultural economy and abundant fish and wildlife populations. WaterSmart Teton Valley offers tips for homeowners to conserve water inside and outside of the home.

Well Water Testing

All Teton County residents living outside city limits and using water from a private well are responsible for the testing, operation, and maintenance of their well to ensure that well water is safe to drink. Teton County, ID residents generally enjoy very high-quality drinking water due to Teton County, Idaho’s low density, rural population and its location high in the headwaters of the Teton River Watershed. However, it is important to note that some areas of Teton County, ID do have elevated nitrate levels caused by improperly maintained septic systems, personal or commercial fertilizer use, animal waste, or a combination of those factors.

 Private Well Nitrate Screening Results

To help individual well owners learn more about their well water quality, Friends of the Teton River facilitates annual well water testing for the Teton River watershed. This program will offer a group order of well water test kits and group shipping to the laboratory in Pocatello, ID. Participation in this program acknowledges that test results will be shared with Friends of the Teton River, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and Teton Conservation District. To stay up to date on program dates and details, subscribe to our e-newsletter (link in header) or reach out to [email protected].


Nonpoint and Point Sources

Water can be polluted in many ways. Two distinct types are Point source pollution and Nonpoint source pollution.
A Point source of pollution originates form a single identifiable source, like sludge that comes out of pipe and is dumped into a body of water. A Nonpoint source is much harder to pinpoint and can come from many places all at once. Leaching of nutrients into our groundwater, unmaintained septic systems that leak waste, or chemicals that accumulate on roadways and parking lots can all be examples of Nonpoint source pollution.

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Septic Systems

Septic systems that are not properly inspected and maintained may not satisfactorily treat waste before releasing it back into the ground and will contribute to Nonpoint source pollution. Routine septic pumping and inspections every 3 to five years can ensure that sludge build up is removed and a septic system is functional, protecting local groundwater resources. This is a relatively inexpensive and efficient process.


Water Cycle

Water is always flowing between different reservoirs in the water cycle. A water droplet could fall as a snowflake in the Teton Mountains, then melt and flow downhill in the spring before being absorbed into the ground, travelling into the shallow underground aquifer in the valley. If we followed the water droplet long enough, it would flow into the Teton River after bubbling up from a spring, then eventually make its way towards the Pacific Ocean via the Snake and then Columbia River.