On October 18, 2023

Ascutney Fire District fined for violating water supply rule

The Agency of Natural Resources Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) fined Ascutney Fire District #2, the owner and operator of a public water system in Weathersfield,  of the Vermont Water Supply Rule (VWSR) on Oct. 13. It 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,” said 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.”

Fire District #2 owns and operates a public drinking water system in Weathersfield that serves approximately 485 residential users through 200 service connections. The 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 Sept. 30, 2022. 

The 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 supply rule 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 Oct. 3, 2023.

For more information including information about the Vermont Water Supply Rule, visit: dec.vermont.gov/water.

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