Flooding Can Contaminate Your Drinking Water

Water may not be safe to use for drinking, cooking or cleaning after a flood. During and after flooding, water can become contaminated with microorganisms — such as bacteria, sewage, heating oil, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals, and other substances that can cause serious illness. Assume your water is contaminated if you are in a flooded area and get your drinking water from a well or spring. 

Call the Drinking Water Program at 802-489-7339 for guidance. If you have questions about drinking water from a city or town water system, contact the Department of Environmental Conservation

Flooding Near a Well or Spring

If your well or spring has been affected by flooding, you may need to disinfect your water supply and get your water tested.

Do not use that water for:

  • Baby formula until a water test confirms it is safe

  • Any purpose if water has the smell of petroleum or chemicals

Take all precautions if:

  • The well was covered with floodwaters or located near flooding

  • There has been a change in water quality (smell or taste)

Until a water test confirms that the water is safe, get water from a known safe source or boil your water for 1 minute to use for:

  • Drinking

  • Cooking

  • Making juice or ice

  • Washing fruit and vegetables

  • Brushing teeth

Emergency Information and Resources

    Last Updated: March 20, 2023