Private Drinking Water Sources: Drilled Wells, Dug Wells and Springs

Private Drinking Water Sources: Drilled Wells, Dug Wells and Springs

If your water does not come from a town or city water system, you are using a private drinking water source. There are three main sources of private drinking water: drilled wells, dug wells, and springs.

If you think there is an issue with your private drinking water:

Contact the Drinking Water Program for treatment options or health effects of contaminants in drinking water.
Call: 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll-free in Vermont)

Contact the Health Department Laboratory for a testing schedule, to order test kits, or to discuss your water test results.
Call: 802-338-4736 or 800-660-9997 (toll-free in Vermont)

Learn about testing drinking water from private supplies

Drilled Wells

Drilled wells draw water from deep below the ground and are the source of drinking water for many households and communities throughout Vermont.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has a number of well drilling resources, including a list of licensed well drillers.

Dug Wells

Because they draw from shallow water tables, dug wells are generally more vulnerable than drilled wells to surface water contamination. However, a properly constructed dug well in a good location can produce high-quality water.


A spring is a place where ground water emerges naturally from the earth’s surface, usually along hillsides, at the base of slopes, or in low areas.

Watch the video below to see common problems with drilled wells and dug wells and how to fix them.


Watch this video and learn about drinking water contaminants and health in Vermont, water testing recommendations, and how to find more information about treatment and financial assistance.