Townshend Lake To Re-Open For Swimming
A popular southern Vermont swimming spot is expected to reopen this summer for the first time since Tropical Storm Irene.
Townshend Lake was declared off-limits to swimmers last season because of large quantities of silt deposited by the August, 2011, storm. Officials said the soft sediment posed a safety hazard and reduced the lake’s depth to a few feet.
But the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains the swimming area, plans to have it dredged within the next few weeks.
Dale Berkness is the project manager for the lake, which is situated above a flood-control dam on the West River.
Berkness says the dam will gradually release enough water to drain the lake prior to the dredging, which will be done by a contractor.
“Basically,” Berkness says, “We’re just lowering the pool down so it’s actually kind of being done in the dry. It’s not being dredged with water there. And we should be able to get in there with equipment and pull the sediment out.”
Berkness says, weather permitting, the project will take a few weeks. Then, after some water quality sampling, the lake should be open for swimming.