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Vermont is home to thousands of fresh water lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Our waters are a great destination for everything from swimming and fishing to boating and tubing. We all have a role to play in keeping our recreational waters a safe and healthy place for everyone.
Healthy Recreational Waters Guidance
The Health Department, along with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, provides guidance to the managers and users of Vermont’s recreational lakes, ponds, streams and rivers.
swim water testing
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams may contain disease-causing microorganisms. Swimming in these waters may result in health effects such as minor skin rashes, sore throats, diarrhea or more serious problems.
Children tend to spend more time in the water than adults. They are also more likely to accidentally swallow water when swimming and, for this reason, they are more likely than adults to get sick. However, babies, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk of becoming seriously ill.
Contact your town health officer with questions about your town’s public swimming area testing protocols or results.
- Healthy Recreational Waters fact sheet
- Beach Sign: Red Alert (do not swim)
- Beach Sign: Yellow Notice (water may not be safe)
- Swimming Information—Vermont State Parks
In This Section
Not all Vermont bays, lakes, and ponds are monitored. Be aware of changing conditions, and keep out of the water if you think cyanobacteria may be present. Check recent reports on lake conditions and season summaries. To find out if a beach or swim area is open, call the beach manager.