About three out of 10 Vermont households drink water from private residential wells. Drinking water primarily comes from deeper bedrock wells, but can also come from shallow dug wells and springs. The water contains naturally occurring chemicals like calcium that can cause hard water and iron that can cause rusty red stains on your laundry. However, most of the chemicals in your water you cannot see, smell or taste, and they can affect your health. Private wells that supply residential houses for household use are not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the State of Vermont. Private well owners are responsible for testing the quality of their own drinking water and maintaining their own wells.
It is important to test your private well for contaminants on a regular basis. The Health Department can provide you with guidance and technical advice about private drinking water sources and contaminants, what to test for and when, how to treat your water, how to disinfect your water source, and what to do before and after a flood.
For questions about the health effects of contaminants and treatment options, call the Private Drinking Water Program at:
802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll-free in Vermont) or AHS.VDHEnvHealth@Vermont.gov