Chemical Monitoring Waiver

Reducing compliance monitoring costs while improving source water protection.

Community and non-transient, non-community water suppliers are required under the Safe Drinking Water Act to test annually for both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and synthetic organic compounds (SOCs). NHDES, however, offers a sampling waiver program that allows water suppliers to reduce their required sampling for VOCs and/or SOCs by implementing a source protection program. Reduced sampling is a cost-saving benefit for the public water system.

Apply for a Chemical Monitoring Waiver

Applying for a chemical monitoring waiver is not difficult and there is no application fee. Public water systems may apply for a 3-year VOC and a 6-year SOC waiver to reduce required drinking water compliance sampling. In exchange, water systems must implement a source protection program that includes:

  1. Inventorying potential contamination sources (PCS) within the source protection area.
  2. Distributing educational materials to residents.
  3. Inspecting potential contamination sources (PCSs) that use regulated substances. 

A public water system source may not be eligible for a Chemical Monitoring Waiver if it is not in compliance with safe drinking water regulations, the source currently has a VOC/SOC detect, or certain source water hazards within the sanitary protective area or source water protection area. To apply for a Chemical Monitoring Waiver, contact the Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau at (603) 271-2950 or

Renew your Chemical Monitoring Waiver 

Public water systems (PWS) that currently have VOC and/or SOC Chemical Monitoring Waivers must renew their chemical monitoring waivers every three years. Renewing the waiver requires updating a PCS inventory through a Windshield Survey, providing updated land use information for the area around the well or surface water intake, and for large public water systems, completing on-site BMP inspections.

If you have an SOC or VOC waiver to be renewed, NHDES will email the PWS the appropriate application form(s) with system-specific information. NHDES emails these forms the first week of the scheduled quarter in which the waiver expires. For example, for a first quarter (Jan-Mar) waiver that expires April 1, NHDES will email the renewal form during the first week of January. If you do not receive the renewal waiver application by the second week of the quarter, please contact us at

After NHDES conducts the review and if your waiver is approved, you will be required to distribute educational materials within the Source Water Protection Area (wellhead protection area or surface water intake protection area) and submit the certification of educational mailing to NHDES within 30 days of the waiver approval. 

BMP Inspections

Large public water systems are required to complete on-site BMP inspections at Potential Contamination Sources (PCSs). NHDES provides a number of guidance documents to help the entities, as well as an online BMP inspector training program. Large PWSs must submit a Best Management Practice Inspection Questionnaire.

Conducting BMP Inspections  

Educational mailings

Educational mailings must be done within 30 days after NHDES approves a waiver, at which time an Educational Mailing Completion Form must be sent to the NHDES program manager.

Guidance for Completing Educational Mailings  


Windshield Surveys

NHDES provides guidance on how to update the PCS inventory by conducting a Windshield Survey, and a Potential Contamination Source Windshield Survey Form must be submitted.

Guidance on Performing a Windshield Survey  


For questions regarding the Chemical Monitoring Waiver program, please contact

Source Protection Coordinator