New and existing Public TNC water system are required to obtain permits for source(s), construction, and operation from the Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division. Applicants of all permits must comply with the Chapter 21 of the Water Supply Rule.

Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Permit
Source Permit
Construction Permit
Operating Permit

Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Permit

The Regional Office Program of the DWGWPD issues Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply (WW) Permits for soil based wastewater systems with flows less than 6,500 gallons per day, for potable water supplies (water supplies that are not Public), and for municipal water and sewer connections. Construction of a new or modification to an existing TNC water system may require a new or amended WW Permit.

Contact the Engineer located in the Regional Office serving your area to determine if a new or amended WW Permit is required for your project.

Contact the Permit Specialist serving your area to identify any other State permits or approvals that are required for your project.

Source Permit

All Public Water Supply Systems are required to obtain a Source Permit for construction of a new source, hydrofracturing or deepening of an existing source, and an increase in withdrawal from an existing source. Source Water Permitting is a multi-step process managed by the Water Resources Section. The Source Permit Program Map indicates which hydrogeologist is responsible for which county.

Key Highlighted Steps:

  1. Contact the Hydrogeologist responsible for the region in which the water system is located to discuss the proposed project;

  2. Submit a TNC Source Permit Application with correct application fee for review by the Hydrogeologist;

  3. Commence construction or modification of the source(s) with approval from the Hydrogeologist;

  4. Submit a Source Testing Review Application to initiate the review and approval process for studies and yield testing to be conducted on the new or modified source(s);

  5. Complete water quality monitoring for each of the contaminants in Tables A11-5 and A11-6 of the Vermont Water Supply Rule. The water samples must be collected from the source before any treatment or storage. If the result of testing for a contaminant exceeds a standard, the system may be required to treat or abandon the source. Results must be submitted to the DWGWPD.

  6. Receive the Source Permit.

Construction Permit

A Construction Permit is required for construction of a new Public water system; connection to a new permitted source; and modification, improvement, and repair of existing Public water systems. Construction Permits are managed by the Division's Engineering Section.  

Key Highlighted Steps:

  1. Submit a Construction Permit Application with the correct application fee for review by the Engineer;

  2. Make corrections and provide additional information as required by the Engineer;

  3. Receive the Construction Permit;

  4. Complete the project;

  5. Submit As-Built Record Drawings and other required documentation to verify completion of the project in compliance with the Construction Permit.

Operating Permit

All Public water systems are required to have an Operating Permit.  TNC water systems qualify for either the General Operating Permit or an Individual Permit to Operate.  

All permittees, regardless of the permit type, are subject to a $100 annual permit fee that is invoiced in June of each year.  The annual permit fee was increased by the legislature from $50 to $100 effective July 1, 2015 pursuant to House Bill H.489.  The final statutory language is found in V.S.A. Title 3, Chapter 51, Subchapter 2, §2822 (j)(7)(D)(i) at

The annual operating permit fee is one of many funding sources that supports the operation of the TNC Program.  What does the TNC Program do for you?  The TNC Program provides operational, managerial, and technical support and outreach to the owners and operators of public TNC water systems.  Our goal is to protect the health of everyone who consumes water at public water systems.  We do this by conducting sanitary surveys, ensuring that systems are performing routine water quality monitoring, training water system operators, verifying compliance with state and federal regulations, and providing trainings throughout the state.  The TNC Program understands owning and maintaining a public water system can be challenging.  This annual fee ensures that the TNC Program can continue to provide critical assistance and outreach to the state’s TNC water systems in order to protect public health.  

General Operating Permit

Coverage under the General Permit is available for new and existing TNC water systems that meet the eligibility requirements listed below. A system that meets these eligility requirements may apply for coverage under the General Operating Permit by completing the Notice of Intent (NOI) to Operate Subject to the General Permit. The DWGWPD will evaluate the NOI for completion and confirm that the water system's source(s), treatment, and water quality meets the criteria. Those systems meeting the requirements of the General Permit will be issued written authorization to operate subject to the General Permit. There is no application fee but the water system is subject to the $100 annual permit fee. The current version of the General Permit expires on February 28, 2020. Those systems that do not qualify for the General Permit must submit an application for an Individual Operating Permit.

​Eligibility Requirements

  • The water system must be classified as Class 1A or 1B.  The class of the water system is determined by system type, source water type, and treatment.  Class 1A water systems are TNC water systems with no treatment or those with ion exchange for water softening, cartridge filters not required to be installed by the Secretary, or limestone contactors for pH adjustment.  Class 1B water systems are TNC water systems with chlorine or ultraviolet light (UV) disinfection, including standby capability;

  • Water system construction and drinking water sources must be permitted or grandfathered under the Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Permit;

  • All water treatment, except ion exchange for water softening, cartridge filters (unless required by the Secretary), or limestone contactors, must be permitted by the DWGWPD, unless installation of the treatment was previously permitted in a Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Permit or approved in a letter issued by the Secretary;

  • The water system must use only groundwater sources. A determination must have been  made that the source is not groundwater under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDI).

  • The water system must meet all applicable State and Federal maximum contaminant levels for chemicals; and

  • Systems shall not pose a public health hazard or significant public health risk as determined by the Secretary.

Individual Operating Permit

A water system must apply for an Individual Permit to Operate if it does not meet the General Permit eligibility criteria. The DWGWPD will evaluate the application for completion and a Permit to Operate will be issued to the water system. The Permit to Operate may include a Compliance Schedule and/or Special Conditions for required system improvments. Individual Permits to Operate do not have an expiration date but may be amended by the DWGWPD as deemed necessary over time.  There is no application fee but the water system is subject to the $100 annual permit fee

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