At Secondwind, we’re pretty much obsessed with water. Every day, we’re helping homeowners, businesses, and communities throughout New Hampshire manage the quality and safety of their drinking water. During our 30 years of service, we’ve become an expert on our state’s water landscape. In doing so, we can’t help but appreciate the quality and clarity of our state’s beautiful lakes—nearly 1,000 of them. Did you know that New Hampshire has some of the clearest, cleanest lakes in the United States? Whether you live in New Hampshire, or are planning a visit this summer, this guide to our state’s five clearest lakes is for you.
What makes New Hampshire’s lakes so clear?
Before we jump to the guide, let’s discuss why our state’s lakes are so clear. According to Christine Fletcher, president of Secondwind Water Systems, there are three key reasons behind the relative clarity of New Hampshire’s lakes:
1. Low turbidity
Turbidity, or the measure of loose particles in a liquid, is a key indicator of water quality.
2. Low phosphorus & algae levels
Phosphorus is an essential element for plant life, but when there’s too much of it, it causes an excessive growth of plants and algae.
3. Low pH levels
A measure of how acidic/basic water is, pH affects organisms living in water. Changing pH levels in a stream can be an indicator of increasing pollution or some other environmental factor. The range goes from 0 – 14, with 7 being neutral.
New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services recognizes the value of our state’s lakes and has several programs in place to help preserve and protect this resource, including monitoring exotic species and testing acid, mercury, and cyanobacteria levels. Other volunteer-driven organizations, including the New Hampshire Lakes Association, are also working to keep our lakes healthy and safe for future generations.
New Hampshire’s Five Clearest Lakes
According to New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) testing reports, the overall quality of our state’s 165,000 acres of lakes and ponds is very good. Most lakes (78%) are categorized as having ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ water quality. Even the National Secchi ‘Dip-in’ has repeatedly ranked New Hampshire as one of the top five states in the country for water clarity. Here are our state’s five clearest lakes, according to the NHDES:
1. Nebanusit Lake
Located between the towns of Nelson and Hancock, this 718-acre lake is classified as a cold-water fishery. It is perfect for boating, kayaking, and taking a refreshing swim.
2. Lake Winnipesaukee
New Hampshire’s largest lake, Winnipesaukee is roughly 21 miles long and covers about 70 square miles. People have been flocking to Lake Winnipesaukee every summer for generations, enjoying boating, canoeing, fishing, and swimming on its many beaches. Visit lakewinnipesaukee.info for information about this lake’s many activities.
3. Merrymeeting Lake
Located in New Durham, this 1,233-acre recreational lake is moderately to heavily developed. Although beautiful, it’s undeveloped areas are not easily accessible by road.
4. Spofford Lake
This 732-acre lake is located in Chesterfield. Fishing and motor boating are popular recreational activities here. In 2005, the NH Fish and Game Department named Spofford Lake the cleanest lake in New Hampshire.
5. Lake Sunapee
Located in Sullivan and Merrimack Counties, Lake Sunapee is roughly 8.1 miles long and covers 6.5 square miles. For information about the region’s many activities, visit the Lake Sunapee Chamber of Commerce.
Secondwind Cares About Your Water
At Secondwind Water Systems, we know New Hampshire water—we’ve been treating it for nearly 30 years. If you have questions about your home’s water quality, give us a call at 603-641-5767. We’re happy to come out and provide a free water analysis. Want to learn more about the Secondwind Difference? Visit our website today.
Featured Photo: Ken Gallager at English Wikipedia