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Water Resources

Integrated Water Quality Plan (IP)

In addition to facing the challenge of replacing aging water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure as part of the 2018 Clean Water Resiliency Plan, the Burlington Water Resources Division has also been conducting comprehensive planning to address newer, more stringent regulatory requirements to improve water quality in local waterways, and Lake Champlain.  Integrated Planning assists municipalities on the path to acheiving the human health and water quality goals of the Clean Water Act, by identifying efficiencies in implementation of wastewater and stormwater programs - specifically how to best prioritize capital investments.

Implementing an Integrated Plan is intended to provide a new approach that better serves Burlington, furthering our community's larger goals around equity, fairness, stewardship, and vitality.


Burlington's Water Resources Division began development of an Integrated Water Quality Plan in 2014. When it is finalized (goal: 2022), the Integrated Plan will serve as the guiding framework for addressing the City's water quality challenges.  This effort represents years of planning, modeling, engineering, and financial assessments, to help Burlington not only achieve their water regulatory goals, but to do so in the most cost-effective, and efficient way.  Most importantly, the final Integrated Plan will directly incorporate feedback from our community about what strategies are most important to them.

Integrated Planning OverviewProject Timeline OutreachWater Quality ChallengesLong-Term Control Plan

Project Status | Updated: September 22, 2022

  • Burlington submitted the Draft Final Integrated Plan to the VT Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) in 2021
    • A copy of the May 2021 Draft Integrated Water Quality Plan Report is available below
    • VTDEC provided feedback, and the City submitted a final Integrated Plan in late Spring of 2022
    • VTDEC is now actively working to finalize the draft permit documents for the public notice process required under State law
  • The City is actively advancing specific project components in the meantime, including:
    • Tertiary Treatment for Phosphorous Removal at Main Wastewater Treatment Plant
    • Pine Street Combined Sewer Overflow Storage Tank
    • Hydraulic and Hydrologic (H/H) Modeling refinement and recalibration work
    • These items are being advanced now as they are seasonally-sensitive (i.e. work needs to begin before the rainy season begins); further, funding opportunities to minimize impacts to our rate payers are highly competitive.
  • City Staff presented the draft plan to the following City stakeholders in March 2022:
    • 3/7/22 • Conservation Commission
    • 3/16/22 • DPW Commission
    • 3/22/22 • Transportation, Energy, & Utilities Committee
  • The City submitted the final Long-Term Control Plan (a more discreet piece of the larger IP) to VTDEC on July 11, 2022
  • Staff presented the Long-Term Control Plan at the Transportation, Energy & Utilities Committee meeting on July 26, 2022
    • VTDEC now has the City's final LTCP, and we are awaiting issuance of their official approval of that plan

Associated Water Resources Work

2018 Clean Water Resiliency Plan (CWRP)

While these various project components were in development, the need for a final, comprehensive Integrated Plan came into sharp focus during the summer of 2018.  That year, we experienced a number of challenges with our combined sewer infrastructure, as well as our wastewater treatment facilities.  In response to those issues, Water Resources received overwhelming voter approval for a $30 million bond, to specifically implement long-planned improvements to modernize our systems.  Water Resources was able to advance this bond request so quickly as a direct result of the integrated planning efforts that had already been completed at that time.  While much of the work associated with the CWRP relates specifically to infrastructure upgrades, this work will absolutely strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve and protect water quality. 

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Grant

As an early step under the CWRP, our Stormwater Program applied for and received $1 Million in funding under a Vermont Department of Conservation (DEC) grant opportunity. Utilizing the preliminary data from the Opportunities Map developed by our Integrated Planning Team, our staff completed additional soil and utility analysis and modeling to determine the right projects to propose. This award will fund 12 Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) projects to protect water quality, keep utility rates affordable and help address the inherited challenge of old infrastructure - specifically, CSOs. Construction of these retrofits will occur over the next two years. These projects will make a meaningful difference in capturing stormwater before it enters our combined system during storm events.

You can find additional details on these related efforts and more by clicking the buttons below:

2018 Clean Water Resiliency Plan2020-2021 GSI-CSO Projects BTV Drain DefendersResidential Stormwater Incentives