Recreation and Drinking Water

We’ve talked about this issue before: what level, if any, of recreational use–boating, kayaking, fishing, etc.–should be allowed in Berlin Pond, the body of water located in Berlin and owned by Montpelier that provides drinking water for the capital city. The argument has even been to the Vermont Supreme Court, which ruled that the city charter, as it then existed, did not allow Montpelier to prohibit recreational use of the pond.

Well, the conversation is still going on years later. If you’re interested in the science of the debate, take a look:

Informational meeting on the potential impact of recreational use of Vermont’s small drinking water ponds, including Berlin Pond, with regard to pathogenic contamination.

Wednesday, March 15, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Montpelier City Hall Council Chambers

Dr. Jeffrey Griffiths, an expert on Cryptosporidium and Cryptosporidiosis, and other waterborne infectious diseases, will speak on the potential contamination of Montpelier’s drinking water source, Berlin Pond, by pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, should recreation be allowed to continue. Dr. Griffiths is a professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, and former chair of the EPA Drinking Water Committee. For more information on Dr. Griffiths go to

Cryptosporidium is one of the highest causes of waterborne infectious disease in the US. In fact, the EPA has a rule devoted primarily to combating that pathogen, which is carried in the human gut and is not affected by chlorine. Yet the Agency of Natural Resources has said nothing about it since the state began allowing recreation on Berlin Pond, and also Stiles Pond which serves St. Johnsbury, in 2012. The State has said it wants to allow recreation on all the drinking water ponds, including the Thurmond Dix Reservoir.

Dr. Griffiths was recommended by the NH Dept. of Environmental Services where he previously testified in a similar case.

Everyone is welcome. Bring questions!

Contact Page Guertin – – if you can’t attend and have a question to ask. The event will be videoed by ORCA.


2 thoughts on “Recreation and Drinking Water

  1. Is it so much to ask to leave a quiet pond to be used by its (non-human) inhabitants, rather than for man, the ultimate invasive species?

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