Pittsfield lake now clean enough for recreation

Silver Lake in Pittsfield is seen on this Google satellite map.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Pittsfield lake that has had garbage, sewage and PCBs dumped in it, been the site of two oil spills, and even once caught fire, is now considered clean enough for some recreational activities.

Silver Lake is now open to catch-and-release fishing, boating and ice skating.

Workers capped major PCB contamination in the lake bottom last fall, one of the last procedures in a 16-year effort to clean the 26-acre body of water.

Officials tell The Berkshire Eagle that PCB levels are undetectable in the water although they recommend against eating the sunfish, carp and largemouth bass found in the lake. Swimming is “discouraged.”

Not everyone is convinced the lake is safe. Jane Winn, executive director of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, says she won’t let her children boat on the lake.

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