The MISSION of the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division is to protect human health and the environment for this and future generations by managing Vermont’s drinking water supplies; protecting the quality and quantity of Vermont’s groundwater resources; and regulating wastewater disposal activities that could adversely affect groundwater. The Division accomplishes this mission through its outreach, education, assistance and regulatory activities.
The Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division’s (DWGWPD) main office is in the National Life Building in Montpelier. There are also staff located in five regional offices that regulate Wastewater Systems and Potable Water Supplies.
Regulatory programs managed by the Division include, but are not limited to:
- Public Drinking Water Supply (water) – Public Community, Non-Transient Non-Community, Transient Non-Community, and Bulk and Bottled Water.
- Groundwater Reclassification (water) – Groundwater Class I and Class II.
- Groundwater Withdrawal (water) – Reporting and Permitting
- Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply (regional offices) – Potable (non-public) Water and Wastewater.
- Indirect Discharge (wastewater) – regulates large wastewater systems.
- Underground Injection Control (wastewater) – regulates discharges to groundwater.
Groundwater Management efforts are addressed within two rules and an over-arching Strategy: The Groundwater Withdrawal Reporting and Permitting Rule, Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy, and the Groundwater Management Plan (2018).
The Division also provides input to Act 250 and Act 248 projects under several criteria.
The Division also certifies/licenses:
The above programs all have compliance and enforcement components, as well as permit issuance responsibilities. The Division, along with State-approved regional and national organizations, provides technical assistance and educational opportunities to water system operators and site designers. The Division supports and/or co-sponsors training opportunities that enhance the technical abilities of our regulated communities, as well as our own staff. Within these pages, you will find the rules and regulations under which each program regulates activities, applicable applications, forms, guidance, practices, procedures, information about the training opportunities for the individuals we license, lists of those individuals, and other related links.
The Division maintains several databases where the public can search for:
- Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply permits/documents
- Well Completion Reports
- Groundwater Interference
- Source Protection Areas
- Groundwater Class I, II, and IV areas
- Contact the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division: Phone: 802-828-1535 (during business hours 7:45am - 4:30pm weekdays) - Emergency Preparedness and Security
- For After-Hours Water System Emergencies: Dial 802-741-5311 - then enter your phone number (a local call within Vermont for a 24-hour pager for Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection emergency response)
It is the responsibility of the water system to make sure that all users are aware of what is going on with their water system and that their health is being protected. Following emergencies, depressurization (even if localized and temporary), certain repairs, unauthorized bulk water hauling, confirmed E. coli detection, and other issues that may arise and adversely impact health of system users, a precautionary boil water notice will be required. In some instances, the Division will mandate a precautionary boil, but water systems should implement a precautionary boil water notice if they think there is a chance that the sanitary quality of the water in the water system has been compromised in any way.
Hand delivery of the notice to every user as soon as a situation arises is often the best method, but other options such as Front Porch Forum, Facebook, E-mail, website posting, press releases and enrollment of the water system and its users in the VT-Alert system may all be used in conjunction with direct delivery to ensure every user is informed in a timely manner. No matter what method or methods are used, the system needs to be confident that the notice has reach all users of the system.
Please go to the Regional Offices Program page to find a map for our regional offices. The map will link to information about the Montpelier, Essex Junction, Rutland, Springfield, and St. Johnsbury offices. Our main office is in Montpelier.
If you wish to contact DWGWPD staff, call the numbers as listed or send an email to staff. You may also contact us by leaving a message on our main line: 802-828-1535. Montpelier office fax number is 802-828-1541.
If you wish to meet with staff at the National Life building please call ahead to arrange a time, so staff can greet you in the lobby. All visitors are required to sign in and obtain a visitor's badge.