Public Drinking Water

Public Drinking Water

worker checking public water system

If you get a water bill, you are on public drinking water. Public water treatment systems are regulated by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

Contact your water service provider if you experience a problem with your water supply or have a complaint. Their phone number should be on your water bill.

All public water systems must conduct water quality monitoring. Testing must be performed at labs certified by the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory. Public water suppliers are required to send an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to customers that gives information about the water source and the presence of contaminants, if any. Contact your water supplier for a copy of their most recent CCR.

Even though public water is regulated, there are some additional things you may be concerned about:

Lead

Water quality can be affected by the plumbing from the water main to your home and by the type of plumbing and fixtures inside your home. If you are on public water, the Health Department recommends testing your water for lead.

Learn more about testing your water for lead

Disinfection Byproducts

Disinfectants are added to public water to protect public health from microorganisms in drinking water. Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) can form when naturally occurring organic carbon reacts with chemical disinfectants, such as chlorine, and may affect your health.

Learn more about DBPs

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. PFAS chemicals include PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid).

Some PFAS do not break down easily and therefore stay in the environment for a very long time, especially in water. Some PFAS can stay in people’s bodies for a long time and cause health effects.

Act 21 (passed in 2019) requires approximately 650 Public Community and Non-Transient Non-Community water systems to test for PFAS.

Learn more about PFAS