Clean Water
Matters!

The diverse ecosystems, working
landscapes, and vibrant communities
that inspire and sustain us depend on
clean water. Learn about pollution
reduction strategies.

Healthy Habitats
Connect Us All

Lakeshores, stream banks, and wetlands are critical to clean
water and biodiversity. Learn about efforts to improve
habitat connectivity in the Basin ecosystem.

We Care for
What We Know

Recreation fosters stewardship of the Basin’s rich
natural and cultural heritage by connecting people
to the landscape while supporting local economies.
Learn about ways to explore the Basin.

Informed Citizens
Make Wiser Choices

Citizens who have an understanding and
appreciation of water resources make informed
choices about actions that might contribute to
pollution. Learn about education programs.

    Water & Environment

    Did You Know?

    More than 80 species of fish are found in Lake Champlain and more than 90 species are in the Lake Champlain watershed.
    Find out more

    Drinking Water

    drinking water tank

    The public water supply system in Burlington, VT, draws water from Lake Champlain.

    Roughly 20 million gallons of water are pumped from the Lake each day to supply drinking water to about 145,000 people (or about 20% of the Basin’s population). Almost all of these people obtain their water from the 100 public water supplies that are monitored and regulated by the states and Province of Québec. About thirty-five of the these systems are community water supplies; the rest include motels, trailer parks, restaurants, and other businesses. The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires public water systems to monitor 84 potential contaminants in drinking water.

    Vermont has 73 water supply systems, New York 26, and Quebec has one. The City of Burlington, VT and the Champlain Water District, which serves many cities and towns within Chittenden County, VT, are among the largest water suppliers in the Basin. Most of the Plattsburgh area uses ground water and a reservoir outside the City for drinking water (the Clinton County database of Public Water Supply Contacts includes information about Plattsburgh). The US EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Information System contains information about public water systems around the country and their violations of EPA’s drinking water regulations

    Public water suppliers in areas affected by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have become increasingly effective in treating water. As cyanobacteria blooms increase in frequency and intensity around the Lake, municipal water suppliers have begun testing for cyanotoxins in raw and finished water when blooms are present. Cyanobacteria cells are typically removed during routine treatment by water suppliers, although the water treatment plant in Philipsburgh, Québec has found cyanotoxins present in their finished water during substantial blooms occurring over extended periods in Missisquoi Bay.

    Little is known about the quality of water withdrawn from the Lake by individual homeowners. These unregulated water supplies likely have minimal or no treatment. Because they draw from the same sources as the public water systems that periodically experience water quality issues, they likely have similar levels of contamination. Untreated surface waters, including those of Lake Champlain, should never be consumed without treatment. Residents who do draw their water from the lake are advised to contact their local health department to be sure they are sufficiently treating their drinking water.

    The boiling and filtering methods used by many private cottages and camps are not generally effective at removing blue-green algae toxins. Homeowners are advised to contact the state Health Department to determine how to identify blue-green algae, how to test their drinking water for blue-green algae toxins and if present, steps to take to prevent toxin exposure

     

    What is the State of the Lake?

    What is the
    State of the Lake?

    Learn about the health of Lake Champlain in the 2015 State of the Lake report. Read about trends in key indicators of water quality and ecosystem health. Read the State of the Lake report

    Volunteers

    Make Some Waves

    From using lake-friendly cleaning products to volunteering with a local watershed group, you can help restore and protect the Lake Champlain Basin. Find out how you can get involved

    Track Our Progress

    Track Our Progress

    Explore the goals and actions of our partners and track our progress online with the Opportunities for Action website. View Opportunities for Action

    © 2017 Lake Champlain Basin Program
    Site design: Taylor Design
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    Lake Champlain Basin Program

    Lake Champlain Basin Program
    54 West Shore Road
    Grand Isle, VT 05458
    800-468-5227 (NY & VT)
    or 802-372-3213