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Drinking Water

A component of the Drinking Water  and Groundwater Protection Division is dedicated to implementing and managing the Water Supply Rule.

The purpose of this rule is to protect the public health by assuring safe, affordable drinking water from Public and Non-Public Water systems, and to implement and enforce the provisions of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and Vermont statutes.   -Water Supply Rule

Purpose of This Rule: First, and most important, the rule's primary purpose is to regulate water systems in the state so that they provide clean and safe drinking water to Vermont's citizens. This is true for the smallest, single house source to the state's largest system. The rule also establishes well construction standards which apply to every constructed well in Vermont, regardless of the type of facility it serves.

Second, by implementing this rule, Vermont qualifies to retain "primacy" for the Safe Drinking Water Act from the federal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Primacy means that the state will administer the federal regulations that apply to all public water systems in the country, instead of USEPA. 

Third, this Rule makes it easier for both the regulators and the regulated community to carry out their respective roles. 

The Division conducts the following duties in the interest of public health (relating to drinking water):

  • Working with drinking water systems to maintain safe drinking water
  • Sanitary surveys of public drinking water systems
  • Administers various rules regarding the sampling of water supplies
  • Protecting groundwater and surface water sources
  • Permitting for water system construction, operator certification, and well driller licensure

All water systems are initially classified as either Public Water Systems or Non-Public water systems. Classification as a Public water system depends on the number of service connections (15 or more) or people served (25 or more) by the system.

Information for Public Water System Operators pertaining to the training and certification of public water systems is available. All public water systems require a Certified Operator.

Capacity Development refers to a water system’s ability to adequately manage its technical, managerial and financial capabilities for the long-term. 

All public water systems must conduct Water Quality Monitoring. You will find a brief summary of the various monitoring requirement as well as any associated regulatory information. Water quality testing must be performed at labs that must be certified by the state of Vermont.  Only test results coming from certified labs will be accepted.

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