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Lake-water contamination from multiple sources

Did you know that over 30 percent of Vermont's population gets its drinking water from Lake Champlain? The Lake Champlain Coalition of Municipal water suppliers consistently provide clean, reliable drinking water to the people of Vermont. In addition, we provide many farms with the water they use in daily operations. Our goal is to raise awareness throughout the Lake Champlain basin to promote activities that will ensure the delivery of clean, reliable drinking water. Additionally, a large percentage of Vermont's population gets their drinking water from groundwater wells. Further, most of these are private wells that supply individual homes. These wells are more susceptible to contamination than one may think. Private wells are often not constructed to the same standards as public wells, making them more easily contaminated from simple household activities. Failing (and failed) septic systems and improper use of commercial fertilizers and pesticides have the potential to have a significant impact on private drinking water supplies. In addition, all too often these wells are not tested for contamination on a regular basis, if ever. So what does this mean and what can I do? It means that drinking water supplies across the state are threatened by common everyday activities. It also means that what occurs on privately owned land has the potential to impact a large number of people and disrupt economic activities, especially farming operations. You can start by ensuring your residential septic system is working properly. Second, ensure you are following Accepted Agricultural Practices. They are in place to protect many ecological communities, but they are also there to protect you, your family, your neighbors, and your livelihood. Third, look for alternatives or programs designed to help (fund) your protection efforts. If effort is put into protecting your own source of clean reliable drinking water, those living downstream will also benefit. Healthier rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater will lead to better hunting, fishing, recreation and economic conditions.

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