For Immediate Release – October 13, 2023
Kane Smart, Enforcement and Litigation Attorney
Agency of Natural Resources
802-272-7245 | Kane.Smart@vermont.gov
Ascutney Fire District Fined for Violating Water Supply Rule
Montpelier, VT – The Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that Ascutney Fire District #2 (Fire District), the owner and operator of a public water system in Weathersfield, was fined $4,000 for violations of the Vermont Water Supply Rule (VWSR) and has been directed to bring the water system into compliance.
Many Vermonters use public community water systems for safe, reliable drinking water. These systems range in size from small condominium associations to large cities. Owners of public community water systems are responsible for managing and maintaining the systems in accordance with the VWSR. Among many other requirements, owners are required to have a certified operator who is responsible and available at all times, and who must perform routine sampling and monitoring for water quality.
“Owning a public drinking water system comes with the responsibility to maintain drinking water standards and protect public health,” says Jason Batchelder, DEC Commissioner. “Routine monitoring of public water systems plays a critical role in identifying any issues that have the potential to impact public drinking water.”
The Fire District owns and operates a public drinking water system in Weathersfield that serves approximately 485 residential users through 200 service connections. The Fire District lacked a certified operator in 2021 and 2022. It also failed to monitor the water for disinfectant byproducts each August from 2020 through 2022 and failed to sample the water for lead and copper between June 1 and September 30, 2022.
The Fire District retained a certified operator in 2023 and agreed to a pay a fine of $4,000 for the violations. It also agreed to issue public notices in accordance with the VWSR and bring the water system into compliance by conducting the required water sampling. Under the agreement, the Fire District will be subject to additional penalties if it does not complete the testing. This agreement was incorporated into a Final Judicial Order of the Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division on October 3, 2023.
For more information about DEC’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division, including information about the Vermont Water Supply Rule, visit https://dec.vermont.gov/water.