Water

Overview

The Public Service Department (Department) and the Public Service Board (Board) regulate only privately owned water companies. The Department advocates for consumers and the public interest while making recommendations on all water company petitions filed with the Board. The Board has the formal authority to grant, deny or modify petitions of companies. Many but not all of these companies are also regulated by the Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division (DWGWPD).

Small Private Water Companies

Vermont's small private water companies continue their struggle to remain viable and meet the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA) of 1974, the SWDA 1986 amendments and 1996 reauthorization. Some of these companies lack management resources, access to reasonably-priced capital or have other problems affecting their overall viability. Many small companies have been taken over by municipalities, fire districts, or other consumer-owned entities that are better able to operate these systems in a sustainable manner. The Public Service Department generally encourages such transfers, and works with customers to help them evaluate their options.

Certification

Private water companies must obtain approval from the Public Service Board (Board) for a variety of actions including: obtaining a Certificate of Public Good to sell water to consumers; changing rates charged for water; changing rules or regulations in the company's tariff; borrowing money; and selling assets or stock. Municipal and non-profit cooperatives or associations that sell water only to their members are not subject to Board jurisdiction. The Public Service Department provides guidance to companies in the process of filing a petition with the Board. The Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division (DWGWPD) provides guidance through the Capacity Development Initiative and access to the State Drinking Water Revolving Fund (SDWRF).

Resources

Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division (DWGWPD)

The Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division protects public health by assuring safe, affordable drinking water and by managing the water resources which provide drinking water The Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division is a division of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation in the Agency of Natural Resources.

Vermont Rural Water Association (VRWA)

VRWA is a nonprofit association of water and wastewater systems throughout the state. Its mission is to promote public health and a clean environment by supporting Vermont water and wastewater facilities.

New England Water Works Association (NEWWA)

NEWWA is a non-profit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Association is the leading authority on education, training opportunities and public outreach to protect and improve drinking water and water utility operations.

American Water Works Association (AWWA)

AWWA is an international nonprofit scientific and educational society dedicated to the improvement of drinking water quality and supply.

National Association of Water Companies (NAWC)

NAWC is the only national trade association that exclusively represents the private and investor-owned water utility industry.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA works to develop and enforce regulations that implement environmental laws enacted by Congress. EPA is responsible for researching and setting national standards for a variety of environmental programs, and delegates to states and tribes the responsibility for issuing permits and for monitoring and enforcing compliance. Where national standards are not met, EPA can issue sanctions and take other steps to assist the states and tribes in reaching the desired levels of environmental quality.

EPA Websites

For more information, please Contact Us.

Department of Public Service

June Tierney, Commissioner
112 State Street
Montpelier, VT
05620-2601

For questions, to submit comments or to file a complaint, please go to our Contact page.