For many Vermonters and visitors to our fine state, the summer ritual of swimming in the lakes and rivers is much anticipated during the long winter months.
Summer can be fleeting so the water recreation is very special. Gatherings on the banks of rivers and lakes are social events as well as escape from the heat. Nearly every place along the river where cars can pull off will be occupied on the dog days of summer.
But how do we know those waters are safe from pollution? That there are no leaking septics or agricultural chemicals floating with us down the river?
We know that federal and state water quality standards exist. But how are problems identified? Here in southeastern Vermont there is a dedicated organization that scrapes up the money and coordinates the volunteers.
Six times each summer, samples are taken in our rivers. They are transported to a lab for testing and results are made available to volunteers and communities.
The organization, the Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance, is “A group of volunteers who care about the health of our rivers.” If you’d like to volunteer some time or to donate email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sites.google/site/vtsevwa/.
Cristine A. White