436 systems serving 410,630 people
  This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by water utilities in Vermont, provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources in protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes drinking water quality for this state.

Water Utilities
Population Served
Detected Chemicals
Exceed health guidelines*
Exceed Legal Limits*
Unregulated chemicals detected
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

  28 Contaminants Exceeding Health Based Limits

Contaminants detected in Vermont drinking water above health guidelines, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of data obtained from state water authorities.

Number of Systems
At Any Level Above Health Limits At Any Level Above Health Limits
Lead (total) 314,926 314,926 277 277
Bromodichloromethane 272,998 272,998 199 199
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 303,363 226,254 232 113
Chloroform 285,321 224,004 207 109
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs) 214,812 214,812 113 113
Dichloroacetic acid 211,436 211,436 110 110
Dibromochloromethane 161,737 146,480 135 130
Trichloroacetic acid 206,221 142,904 108 52
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium) 108,640 108,640 166 166
Bromoform 108,521 108,521 62 62

  Sources of Vermont Drinking Water Contaminants

The contaminants identified in Vermont drinking water come from a wide variety of sources, including agriculture, industry, water treatment plants, and polluted storm runoff from urban areas.

71 Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2009)
13 Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Arsenic (total), Cyanide, Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Atrazine, 2,4-D, Bromomethane, m-Dichlorobenzene, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Perchlorate

22 Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Arsenic (total), Copper, Cyanide, Lead (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Antimony (total), Molybdenum, 2,4-D, Naphthalene, MTBE, Butyl Benzylphthalate, sec-Butylbenzene, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), p-Dichlorobenzene, Tetrachloroethylene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene

53 Industrial Pollutants

Aluminum, Arsenic (total), Barium (total), Chromium (total), Cyanide, Lead (total), Manganese, Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite, Antimony (total), Molybdenum, Vanadium, Asbestos, p-Isopropyltoluene, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Chloroethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Butyl Benzylphthalate, Pentachlorophenol, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Xylenes (total), Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), m-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Isopropylbenzene, o-Xylene, n-Propylbenzene, m- & p- Xylene, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228, Perchlorate, Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L)

18 Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane, Dibromochloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, Bromoform, Dibromoacetic acid, Monochloroacetic acid, Bromochloroacetic acid, Monobromoacetic acid, Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Chloromethane, Asbestos, Bromochloromethane, Chloroethane, m-Dichlorobenzene

22 Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Nitrate, Copper, Nitrate & nitrite, Barium (total), Lead (total), Arsenic (total), Manganese, Radium-228, Radium-226, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium), Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L), Combined Uranium (pCi/L), Chromium (total), Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Combined Uranium (mg/L), Aluminum, Nitrite, Radon, Mercury (total inorganic), Chloromethane, Cyanide

22 Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Lead (total), Molybdenum, Vanadium, p-Isopropyltoluene, Chloromethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Bromomethane, Chloroethane, Naphthalene, MTBE, Butyl Benzylphthalate, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, n-Butylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromochloroacetic acid, m-Dichlorobenzene, Isopropylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene, Radon, Perchlorate

  Testing Summary for Vermont

The federal government has set standards for some of the pollutants found in tap water supplies.

Contaminants reported as tested by water suppliers in Vermont 199
  Contaminants tested due to federal law: 95
  Contaminants tested in addition to those required by federal law: 104
  Violation Summary for Vermont

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Vermont since 2004.

Violation Type Number of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly 2,195
Failure to monitor, Routine Major (Coliform bacteria) 458
Over maximum contaminant level, Average 273
Maximum contaminant level, Monthly (Coliform bacteria) 252
Monitoring and Reporting Disinfection Byproduct Rule 217
Failure to report information to the public or state agency in the Consumer Confidence Report 180
Failure to monitor, Routine Minor (Coliform bacteria) 98
Follow-up and Routine Tap Sampling 56
Failure to monitor, Repeat Major (Coliform bacteria) 38
Initial Tap Sampling for Lead and Copper 26
Public Notification Violation for National Primary Drinking Water Regulations 24
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Study Recommendation 20
Failure to monitor, Repeat Minor (Coliform bacteria) 18
Maximum contaminant level, Acute (Coliform bacteria) 16
Initial Water Quality Parameter Monitoring and Reporting 15
Initial, Follow-up, or Routine Source Water Treatment Monitoring and Reporting 11
Public Education 11
Failure to monitor or report, Routine/Repeat (Indicators of microbial or virus contamination) 4
Failure to Filter (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 2
Treatment Technique No Certif. Operator 2
Treatment Technique (Surface Water Treatment Rule) 2
Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Installation/Demonstration 2
Over maximum contaminant level, Single Sample 1
Filter Turbidity Reporting 1

Sources : EWG (Environmental Working Group)