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Watershed Inspection Program FAQ

Q: What is a public drinking supply watershed?
Q: What are watershed inspectors looking for?
Q: What happens if a problem is found?
Q: Do I need to be home for the inspection to take place?
Q: Will I be notified of the date of the inspection at my property?

Q: What is a public drinking supply watershed?

A watershed is the area of land that drains surface water (rainfall/snowmelt) to a common basin such as a stream, river, lake or reservoir. Water companies are required to inspect watershed areas where the surface water drains to a lake, river, or reservoir whose water is used to supply people with their drinking water.

Q: What are watershed inspectors looking for?

The watershed inspectors look for anything on the property that has the potential to pollute the public drinking water supply. Inspectors note things such as the presence, contents, size, location, and/or condition of:

  • sanitary system (sewer or septic)
  • above-ground and underground storage tanks
  • chemicals used and stored on the property
  • stormwater management system (catchbasins, detention areas, drywells, municipal system tie-ins)
  • floor drains

Inspectors also make note of the number and type of large animals, the existence of nearby ponds or watercourses, and other conditions which could contribute to water quality problems such as manure piles, trash or debris dumping, improper disposal or spillage of chemicals, erosion, etc.

Q: What happens if a problem is found?

Issues sometimes discovered include septic system failure or improper storage of chemicals.  If we discover a problem, the property owner will be notified in writing and be given a reasonable time to correct the problem. We will also report the problem to the local town health department if it is not resolved.

Q: Do I need to be home for the inspection to take place?

No. Only the outside grounds will be checked during an inspection.

Q: Will I be notified of the date of the inspection at my property?

Given that the number of inspections to be conducted and that we want to find the property in its typical condition, we do not notify you of an exact date for an inspection.  All of our inspectors have company ID’s and travel in vehicles with the company logo.