Vermont Drought Information Resources
May 31, 2002
Spring rains have kept the 2002 precipitation exactly on par with a normal Vermont rainfall year. Lack of rain during both the summer and fall of last year caused a severe drop in both surface water and groundwater levels. Hundreds of Vermonters’ private wells and farm water supplies and even some public water supplies experienced drought conditions.
As summer approaches, Vermonters concerned about drought may wish to consult the following information resources:
- If you depend upon a private water supply or a limited public supply, now is the time to conserve. Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources offers a dozen ways to conserve water.
- If you notice a change in taste, color or sediment in your drinking water, it may be sign that your water supply is running low. Stay safe by boiling all water for drinking and cooking. Send in a sample for bacterial analysis. Contact our lab for details.
- If your well goes dry and you are in need of emergency water for household sanitation, call your local Emergency Management Director. He or she may be able to arrange for a mobile water tank to be provided your town. The National Guard lends the tanks and the local fire departments keep them supplied.
- If you are a renter and are out of water, you can call your local Health Officer for assistance.
- If you have decided to replace your shallow water supply with a drilled well, call a Vermont licensed well driller. The Water Supply Division can provide you a list: 800-823-6500. Also, see our guide to Drilled Wells for Drinking Water.
- If your water supply is very low and, after summer thunderstorms, is quickly replenished, consider disinfecting your system. This chlorination procedure will disinfect the spring or well water, including all pipes and home plumbing, with a sanitizing solution, killing any bacteria and viruses that have entered the system during the drought. When the bleach smell has disappeared, analyze the water to ensure the absence of coliform bacteria. See our Drinking Water Disinfection guide.
- To obtain a list of which public systems are currently on water conservation orders or which are on a "boil order," contact the Water Supply Division at 800-823-6500.
- USDA Rural Development has a special drought-related relief loan program to help low to moderate income homeowners obtain an adequate source of safe drinking water. For more information on availability and eligibility, call 802-828-6010.
- To read more about how the drought is affecting Vermont’s farmers, go to the Department of Agriculture’s web site.
- To link to more sites about the weather, the drought, and drought preparedness, check Vermont Emergency Management’s drought pages.
- Think of your neighbors as the drought continues. Some may be without water. Take time to give them a call or check on them to see if they need assistance.