Drinking Water

This section has a lot of information about the City of Rutland’s drinking water.  Here are links and documents to view about chloramines and disinfection byproducts.

Water quality testing reports are issued annually. These reports offer a great deal of information about our water supply and system. Linked here are the 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 reports.

In 2015 Matchpoint, Inc. conducted a leak detection survey on half or the Rutland system. Their Final report is here.

A brief but interesting history of the Rutland water system is available here.

A timeline of events up to 2011 in the history of the Rutland Water system is here.


Lead in drinking water became the basis of increased public concern since the crisis in Flint, Michigan came to national attention in 2015. The source of lead in drinking water is most likely from corrosion of in-home plumbing installed before 1987, with solder used in copper plumbing and older lead-based brass fixtures. Rutland City water has been treated for corrosion control since the 1990s to reduce lead levels, and has consistently met the federal lead standard ever since. Lead testing is performed every three years at the tap in homes that are most likely to have the problem, under conditions most likely to show contamination.

A press release about the 2019 testing results is available here.

A press release about the 2016 testing results is available here.


Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have recently become an issue of significant public health concern with new studies showing long-term exposure health impacts and the discovery of the substance in private drinking wells in Bennington and at the Rutland State Airport. In 2019 the Vermont Legislature passed Act 21 requiring the Department of Environmental Conservation to undertake a number of measures, including requiring public community water systems, schools, and other water systems that serve the same 25 people more than 6 months per year (referred to as “nontransient-noncommunity water systems) across the state to conduct monitoring for the five PFAS substances by December 1, 2019. Should a water system confirm a detection of one or more of the PFAS substances that is, in aggregate, above the state’s health advisory levels, the water system will issue a “do not drink” announcement and implement treatment to reduce contamination levels below state standards.

Rutland had its water tested in August 2019 and the summary results are available HERE. In all, 18 PFAS-related chemicals were tested and in every case none was detected in our water. The lab gives the results (in most cases) as <1.86 ng/L, or nanograms per liter. This is the same as parts per trillion. The sensitivity of the test is such that any levels below this number are undetectable, so the results are reported as “less than” the limit of the test because the test did not detect the chemical in the sample.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has a lot of resources available on this subject at https://dec.vermont.gov/pfas.


In the 1930s, scientists examined the relationship between tooth decay in children and naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water. The study found that children who drank water with naturally high levels of fluoride had less tooth decay.2 This discovery was important because during that time most children and adults in the United States were affected by tooth decay. Many suffered from toothaches and painful extractions—often losing permanent teeth, including molars, even as teenagers.

After much scientific research, in 1945, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first to add fluoride to its city water system in order to provide residents with the benefits of fluoride. This process of testing the water supply for fluoride and adjusting it to the right amount to prevent cavities is called community water fluoridation.

Since 1945, hundreds of cities have started community water fluoridation and in 2012, nearly 75% of the United States served by community water systems had access to fluoridated water. Because of its contribution to the dramatic decline in tooth decay over the past 70 years, CDC named community water fluoridation as 1 of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

For those interested in fluoridation, the VT Department of Health has information HERE, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has information HERE.

The Science Behind Community Water Fluoridation
Vermont State Toxicologist Sarah Vose discusses the science behind community water fluoridation. (8 min):


The CDC says mothers using powdered or concentrated infant formula can use fluoridated water. However, if your child is only consuming infant formula mixed with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance for mild dental fluorosis which is a mild change in the appearance of the tooth’s enamel. To lessen this chance, parents can use low-fluoride bottled water some of the time to mix infant formula; these bottled waters are labeled as de-ionized, purified, demineralized, or distilled, and without any fluoride added after purification treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the label to indicate when fluoride is added. More information is available from the CDC HERE.

You can look up health studies and view interviews with experts at the Fluoride Science web site HERE.

The Campaign for Dental Health has many useful links on their fluoride page HERE.


2020 Water Quality Testing Report
2019 Water Quality Testing Report
2018 Water Quality Testing Report
2017 Water Quality Testing Report
2016 Water Quality Testing Report
2015 Water Quality Testing Report
2014 Water Quality Testing Report
2013 Water Quality Testing Report
Events Relating to Rutland and its Water System
Report by Matchpoint, Inc. on distribution system leaks
Detailed information about the two water distribution bond questions on the March 2016 Town Meeting ballot
Press Release: Drinking Water Meets Lead Standard 07-25-19


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