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Private Drinking Water System Guidance

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How do I know if my water is a private drinking water system?

In general, your water system is considered private if you have your own well, spring, surface water intake, or share it among a couple of houses. If you receive water from a public water system, you or your landlord are likely paying a water bill. In some instances, with smaller associations, that is not the case.

What do I do if my private water source has been impacted by the flooding?

  • Assume your water is contaminated. If you are on a private well or spring and floodwater has reached your well or spring, assume your water is contaminated. Do not use the water from your well or spring until you have it tested and results indicate that the water is free of contamination.

  • Get water from a known safe source. Use water from a public building served by town or city water that is not on a boil water notice or from friends or family not impacted by the flood. Use bottled water until you have your water tested. Or call your town office or contact Vermont 211 for assistance.

  • Get assistance with a failed private water system. For assistance with replacing a failed water system, call a licensed well driller or your regional engineer for information on permits and permit exemptions.

  • Remember. During and after flooding events, private water systems (wells, springs, and surface water intakes) can become contaminated with microorganisms and chemicals that can cause serious illnesses. Water may not be safe to use for drinking, cooking, or cleaning after a flood until it has been tested by a Vermont certified laboratory and treated accordingly.

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