2010 Water News

  • Opportunity for Public Input on Groundwater Withdrawal Reporting and Permitting Rule

    The Water Supply Division is in the final stages of implementing the Groundwater Withdrawal Reporting and Permitting Rule. This new rule will require permitting for groundwater withdrawals for commercial, industrial, bottled or bulk water uses of more than 57,600 gallons a day (equivalent to 40 gallons per minute) from any source. Also, the rule requires that those making groundwater withdrawals of more than 20,000 gallons per day (equivalent to about 14 gallons per minute), averaged over a calendar month, file an annual groundwater report with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The new rules do not apply to public drinking water systems in Vermont. Public hearings are scheduled for December 8, 2010 in Rutland and December 9, 2010 in Montpelier. Please contact Source Protection Specialist Eric Hanson with any questions or concerns at 802-660-4988 ext. 327

  • Town of Richmond Wins Best Tasting Water Contest

    The town of Richmond won the contest for best tasting water in Vermont, which was held recently at the Green Mountain Water Environment Association Fall trade show in South Burlington. The contest was organized by the Drinking Water Week committee and GMWEA. Vermont Rural Water will be bringing a sample of Richmond's water down to Washington DC in February, to be entered into the Great American Water Taste Competition. Congratulations to Richmond on their win here in Vermont, and good luck in February!

  • Seeking Nominations for Board of Directors Position and Tony Torchia Award

    The Tony Torchia VRWA Special Recognition Award honors a person affiliated with the water/wastewater industry for extraordinary effort or accomplishment during the previous year or over the course of a career. All members are invited to submit nominations.

    VRWA will also have one seat on the Board of Directors up for election this spring. Our all-volunteer board meets quarterly to direct and oversee the association.

    Directors are representatives of VRWA-member water/wastewater systems and they are elected to the board for three-year terms by the membership. Self nominations are common.

    Nominations for the Tony Torchia Award or a board seat must be received by January 31, 2011.

  • Vermont DEC Compliance and Enforcement Division seeking pre-filing comments on a rule related to environmental ticketing.

    The Department's Compliance and Enforcement Division (CED) is seeking pre-filing comments on a rule related to environmental ticketing. This rule will be moving into the formal rule making process soon and now is a great opportunity to provide feedback about this rule while it is still being developed. The ticketing rule will allow the Department and the Natural Resources Board to issue Vermont Civil Violation Citations ("tickets") for violations of Vermont's environmental laws, rules, regulations and permits. The maximum penalty set in statute for these tickets is $3000. While this ticketing rule creates a new compliance tool it does not expand the Department's or NRB's jurisdiction in any way. What ticketing will accomplish is to provide a more efficient and effective mechanism for addressing small violations.

    Draft Environmental Ticketing Rule
    Table 1 - Penalty Matrix

    Please make comments by November 26, 2010 which will allow us time to fully review all the comments we receive prior to moving into the next phase of rule making.

    To provide comments please follow this link:

  • VRWA partners with GMWEA and VT Drinking Water Week for 2010 Water Tasting Contest

    Do you have the best tasting drinking water in Vermont? Well, here's your opportunity to prove it.

    The Drinking Water Week Committee welcomes most public water systems to enter the 2010 Water Tasting Contest. The Water Tasting Contest will be held at the GMWEA Fall Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in South Burlington on November 4, 2010. Your water will be tasted and judged by a panel of your peers. Water systems will remain anonymous to the judges and all conference attendees with the exception of the tasting coordinator and the winners, who will be announced during the conference festivities.

    Applications should be submitted on or before Friday October 29th to allow time for processing. All participating systems must have a valid Permit to Operate or Temporary Operating Permit with no water quality violations. There are three categories for this contest- Public Community surface water, Public Community groundwater and Non-transient Non-Community. An overall winner will be chosen from the top finishers. A minimum of two (2) gallons of your water are requested, clearly marked with water system name, type of system (groundwater, surface water or NTNC), and contact person on each container. The water system may use a container of their choosing, but glass is strongly recommended. Containers may be returned, however, it will be the owner's responsibility to collect them. Samples should be drawn no earlier than the day before the contest and will be served at room temperature.

    We will have a designated tasting area where samples can be delivered at the Conference. All samples must be in no later than 9AM on November 4th (the day of the conference). Please contact Ashley Lucht by email vermontdrinkingwaterweek@gmail.com or phone 802 241 3424 with any questions or if you need additional information.

    Vermont Rural Water Association is partnering with the VT Drinking Water Week Committee and GMWEA on the taste contest. VRWA will assist the overall winner with entering their product into the Great American Water Taste Test contest held during the National Rural Water Rally in Washington, D.C. in February, 2011.

    Download the 2010 Water Tasting Application (pdf).

  • 2010 Proposed Revisions to the Total Coliform Rule

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing revisions to the 1989 Total Coliform Rule (TCR), a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR). The purpose of the TCR is to protect public health by ensuring the integrity of the drinking water distribution system and monitoring for the presence of microbial contamination. EPA anticipates greater public health protection under the proposed revised requirements, which are based on recommendations by a federal advisory committee. The proposed revisions to the TCR will:

    • require public water systems that are vulnerable to microbial contamination to identify and fix problems, and
    • establish criteria for systems to qualify for and stay on reduced monitoring, thereby providing incentives for improved water system operation.

    For additional information, please visit the following website - http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/tcr/regulation.cfm

    Comments on this proposed rule change are due to EPA by October 13, 2010. Comments on the draft of the "Proposed RTCR Assessments and Corrective Actions Guidance Manual" are due November 30, 2010.

  • 2010 Water Supply Rule Proposed Revisions

    The Agency of Natural Resources is proposing to revise the Water Supply Rule. The major purpose of the rule revision is to adopt and incorporate by reference federal drinking water regulations promulgated after the last Water Supply Rule Revision dated April 25, 2005 and make minor revisions to the rule. The new federal rules requiring adoption include the: January 4, 2006 Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule; January 5, 2006 Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule; October 10, 2007 Lead and Copper Short-Term Regulatory Revisions and Clarifications; and the November 8, 2006 Federal Ground Water Rule. Language has also been included at the request of the Ground Water Coordinating Committee regarding standing column geothermal heating systems. (This rule revision does not incorporate the requirements of ACT 199 Relating to Large Groundwater Withdrawal. Separate rules are currently being written for ACT 199).

    The Water Supply Division accepted written comments until September 17, 2010. For additional information please contact Jean Nicolai, Operations and Compliance Chief at jean.nicolai@state.vt.us or direct line at 802-241-3405.

  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund Update - information from VT DEC

    The Facilities Engineering Financial Management Division of VT DEC has released information in regards to the Clean Water State Revolving Funding Update. Details on the following information are now available,

    1. Funding for pollution control projects from May 2010 to June 2011,
    2. Proposed funding for pollution control projects from July 2012 to 2015,
    3. Early notice of next round of funding for next year

    For additional information on this subject visit http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/fed/fms.htm

  • Notice of Public Hearing & Request for Applications for Funding Under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund

    Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

    Request for Applications for Funding Under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Notice of Public Hearing on the Proposed State Fiscal Year 2011 Project Priority List and Federal Fiscal Year 2010 Intended Use Plan

    Applications from municipalities will be received for projects requesting funding over the next five years. Funding request may include planning (preliminary or final design engineering) and construction. Municipalities requesting funding for construction in State Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011) will be ranked for funding based on the priority points.

    To submit an application please complete one of the following;

    1. Print either the excel form or pdf form and mail it to the address below,
    2. Fill in either the excel form or pdf form and email it to: Winslow.Ladue@state.vt.us
    3. Enter your project information on the online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CWSRFPriorityList.

    Please note, this year we are introducing an online survey option and request feedback from those who use it.

    Projects eligible for funding include municipally owned wastewater treatment system projects including:

    Refurbishment projects - Include improvements and renovations that are necessary to enable the treatment facility and/or pump stations to continue to operate efficiently and meet its present discharge standards for another twenty to twenty-five year design period.

    Combined Sewer Overflow projects - These projects address problems caused by sewers that carry both wastewater and stormwater, and become hydraulically overloaded during rainfall events. This results in overflows to surface waters that are in violation of state and federal standards.

    Phosphorus Removal projects - State statute prohibits most discharges to the drainage basins of Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog that contain a phosphorus concentration in excess of standards, and requires that phosphorus effluent limits be implemented in any drainage basin where needed to meet the requirements of a total maximum load document or attain compliance with water quality standards. These projects are needed to meet existing phosphorus discharge permit limits.

    Dry Weather Flow projects - These are projects which abate pollution that occurs during dry weather periods, when systems are not stressed by rainfall events (see CSO discussion). Examples are the construction of a collection system and new treatment facility to eliminate direct discharges to surface waters, or the extension of a sewerage system to collect the flows from failing septic tank or leach field systems and convey them to an existing treatment facility.

    Enlargement projects - Upgrades of current facilities to handle increased wastewater flows or organic loading resulting from existing or planned municipal growth.

    Sewer Line Replacement projects - Upgrades of existing sewer lines to address aging infrastructure and limited capacities.

    Sewer Line Extension projects - Construction of new sewer lines in areas previously not served by municipal sewers.

    Stormwater/Green Infrastructure projects - These projects store and/or treat stormwater flows which impair surface waters. In addition, projects using natural landscapes and/or plantings to manage wet weather flows to maintain and restore natural hydrology may be funded. All projects in this type need to either be required by a draft or final NPDES permit or described in Vermont's nonpoint source management plan.

    Water/Energy Efficiency or Environmental Innovative projects - These projects deliver equal or better services with less water, such as installing water meters, recycling water use, and/or addressing leaks. Energy efficiency projects reduce energy consumption at eligible water facilities or produce clean energy for these facilities. Environmentally innovative projects demonstrate new and/or innovative approaches to managing water resources in a more sustainable way.

    Other - Represents projects that do not neatly fit into the categories above. The Vermont Facilities Engineering Division will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 2:00 to 4:00 P.M., Skylight Conference Room in the Waterbury State Office Complex. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the Intended Use Plan (IUP)/Project Priority Lists and solicit public input regarding the administration of the Vermont Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program. The Department anticipates receiving about 12 million dollars in additional funding to be made available for wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects.

    Copies of the IUPs and Project Priority Lists will be sent as email attachments and posted before the hearing on the Web site:


    For answers to questions or to make comments following the public hearing please direct emails and calls to:

    1 (802) 241-3404

    The timeline for this year's priority list is:

    2/5/2010Application and meeting notification
    3/12/2010Applications due
    3/23/2010Hearing in Waterbury
    4/2/2010Comments due
    Mid May 2010Final Priority List

    This hearing will be held in a wheelchair accessible facility. Upon request, the agency will provide interpreters, listening devices, auxiliary aides or other assistance that may be necessary to make this hearing accessible to all interested parties.

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