Before I even get into this, first off, this is a bit of an opinion piece but also asking a question. And secondly, "it's the town's drinking water" isn't enough of an answer for me to make it make sense.

Because I grew up in Salem, New Hampshire, so I'm beyond familiar that the town's drinking water supply comes from Canobie Lake. I've lived through the droughts where the water level got so low that water bans were enforced in town for almost entire summers at times.

I fished right off the water line at a distance relative's lake house and caught nothing but sunfish for a full afternoon. So, the go-to quickie "It'S tHe ToWn DrInKiNg WaTeR, yOu IdIoT" isn't an easy answer, because Salem is my frickin hometown.

I'm not just some schmuck trying to get web hits. (Well, I mean, I am, but not in this case.)

Google Maps / Canva / Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Google Maps / Canva / Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Canobie Lake Salem NH

I'll just cut right to the point. I know this just from growing up in Salem, but just for backup, let me point to the Canobie Lake website itself, which lists the following as a prohibited activity:

Bathing or swimming or otherwise making bodily contact with waters of this lake.

And that's just barely scratching the surface off of all that's prohibited on Canobie Lake, again, because it's the town's primary source of drinking water. Which would maybe be a bit more understandable if the following wasn't also written on the same exact website:

During the spring, summer and fall seasons people enjoy boating, kayaking, sailing, and fishing.

But wait, there's more. Because back in the day, Canobie Lake Park had an attraction called The Canobie Queen, which was a massive boat that would tour the lake for customers of the Park, which, according to the Canobie Lake Park Archive, was retired in 1999.

Riddle me this, though. "Bodily contact with waters of this lake" in the form of swimming is a big no-no because it's the town's drinking water, but boats that run on gas and oil are cool?

And I know that sounds like I'm asking that question with all the sarcasm in the world, but it's a legit question. Because I don't know how water filtration for the town works, so how is it cool for a machine that can possibly leak gas or oil into the town's drinking water to be on the lake, but not a human?

I'm also sure some type of bacteria can somehow end up on a kayak, a canoe, or a paddle. And I'm sure casting possibly rusty hooks into the town's primary drinking water supply can't be good, either, right?

Photo by Alina Kacharho on Unsplash / Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash / Photo by Efe Kurnaz on Unsplash
Photo by Alina Kacharho on Unsplash / Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash / Photo by Efe Kurnaz on Unsplash

And, I mean, I'll hate myself if some town official sees this and decides, "Oh crap, these are good points, no more doing anything in Canobie Lake ever!" -- but like the headline says, at least to me, anyway, it just doesn't make sense.

If all of this other stuff is fine and can apparently be filtered out before eventually reaching homes in Salem, how is that not the same for someone swimming in the lake? Are the filtration systems somehow easily defeated by someone's toe jam? (Sure, sarcastic question, but also legitimate curiosity.)

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