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Source Water Permitting

All Public Water Supply Systems (PCWS, NTNC, TNC, Domestic Bottled/Bulk Water) are required to have a source water permit for any new source, hydrofracturing or deepening of an existing source, or any increase in withdrawal of an existing source.  Applicants for this permit must comply with the Water Supply Rule Chapter 21 and if applying for a Domestic Bottled or Bulk Water Permit, it must also comply with the requirements of the Groundwater Withdrawal Reporting and Permitting Rule-Chapter 24.

Please note that as of January 1, 2018 there is a change in the process for Source Permit applications following the enactment of Act 150 (10 V.S.A. Chapter 170). Under the new rule, permit applicants must notify adjoining property owners of their application prior to submitting the application to the department.  The Department has created an official notice which applicants are required to use to make this notification - this notice is available as a form template for your convenience.  The applicant must include a signed certification to the Department that they have sent notification to the adjoining property owners via US mail. For more information on what Act 150 means for applicants, please visit The permit application type for public notice purposes is indicated in [  ] parenthesis.

For non-drinking water and groundwater withdrawal reporting and permitting, click here.

Permit Review Process Steps


NOTE - Pre-application requirement:

The permit applicant shall notify all landowners adjoining the project parcel of the project application at the time of submittal of the Source Permit Application to the Secretary.  A form template is available for your convenience.

The State’s receipt of an administratively complete source-specific Source Water Permit application starts the Secretary’s review process for:

If there are any agricultural lands in the area that may affect the proposed water source the Certification of Water Source Likely Affected by Agricultural Lands Form (found in the Application) is to be signed by the applicant and submitted with the Source Permit Application for any new public water source. 

Following the State’s site visit with the applicant and/or their consultant a letter approving source construction will be sent to the applicant if the source site if found suitable for source construction. 

The Applicant may then construct the source.


Submittal of a completed Source Testing Review Application after the source has been constructed initiates the review and approval process for studies and testing to be conducted on source(s) to serve proposed, or changes to, existing public water supplies. The Initial Source Water Quality Testing list indicates which water quality compounds are to be sampled and analyzed for during the source permitting process.

A Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water (GWUDI) exemption application is required to qualify for not having to perform a Microscopic Particulate Analysis (MPA) test.

A Home Owner Letter is available for consultants when setting up a source pumping test program.

Well ID Sheets-For Use Following a Pump Test For:

Electronic Submittal Procedure for Source Protection Areas (SPAs)
This format is to be used for all submittals of new, or changed SPAs, and is to be included along with the Source Evaluation Final Report.

For Multiple Water Sources – Each water source is to have a specific SPA associated with it. It is recognized that some SPAs may include areas that overlap with another source’s SPA- that is acceptable.


Submittal of the Source Evaluation Report – the applicant’s consultant submits the report to the Secretary for review and approval.  Once accepted, the Secretary shall post a Draft Decision to the ENB for public comment for 30 days.  A request for a public meeting can be requested within the first 14 days of public comment.

Once public comment has closed, a response to comments will be included with the final permit decision.

A permit decision can be appealed through the Appeals Process.  Only a person who provided comment during the public comment process (written or oral) can appeal the decision.

Following receipt of a Source Permit:

Construction Permit [Type 4 Procedures] is required to connect a newly permitted water source to the public water system. This Permit is also required for making improvements, major repairs, or expansion to the water system. 

Permit to Operate [Type 5 procedures] the water system must obtain this permit prior to serving water to the public.