If you want to learn about the health of a population, look at the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the places where they live.”Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, in the Fifth Century BC

Our environment, both natural and built, greatly impacts our health. The Gallatin City-County Health Department’s (GCCHD) Environmental Health Services (EHS) works to protect our community from risk factors in the environments in which we live, work, eat and play. This is primarily done by providing the community with needed knowledge and resources and by applying evidence-based policies, such as the FDA Food Code through restaurant inspections, and the enforcement of Montana’s water quality related Laws and Rules.

How can you help?

Everyone should educate themselves and prepare their families to avoid or deal with common environmental health issues.  Just a few other ways you can help protect our community include:

Clean up after your dog. Protect the health of our waterbodies and soils and the people that play in them or rely on them for drinking water by always scooping the poop. Pathogens from dog poop can survive in the environment and make humans sick long after visible signs of the contamination are gone. 

Clean up your trash. Trash is not just an aesthetic issue or danger to wildlife. It can clog waterways and storm drains and water ways, increasing flooding risks.

Turn the car off rather than idle for more than 30 seconds. Not only will this save money on gas, it will help protect the quality of the air you breathe in the car as well as that of larger environment.

Test your well water quality. It is the responsibility of well owners to ensure that their water is safe. It is recommended that all drinking wells are tested annually for bacteria and nitrates which can cause serious illness. Free test kits can be picked up from the Gallatin Local Water Quality District.

Combat climate change. Climate change is a large-scale environmental health issue that increases the risks from the threats that EHS deals with day to day. Every effort helps – from actively advocating for effective climate policy to driving less (walk, bike, bus or carpool), switching to more efficient appliances or simply choosing a reusable water bottle.

The staff at GCCHD EHS work every day to promote environmental health and safety for all. For any questions, call us at 406-582-3120, or email ehs@gallatin.mt.gov.

For more information:

National Public Health Week’s Environmental Health Page


What is Environmental Health?


Gallatin City-County Health Department, Environmental Health Services