MEREDITH — The Lake Winnipesaukee Association is encouraging boat owners to use bilge socks to prevent oil and fuel from the boat’s engine to collect in the bilge compartment, saying that, when the bilge is activated, the chemicals are discharged into the lake.

According to the group, one quart of oil could contaminate 250,000 gallons of water.

Bilge socks absorb the excess oil and gas, preventing them from polluting the lake.

"Using a bilge sock is an easy and inexpensive way to protect Winnipesaukee," said Patricia Tarpey, executive director of the Lake Winnipesaukee Association.

She suggests having a marina include the installation and removal of bilge socks as part of the routine fall and spring maintenance.

"Bilge socks cost approximately $10, so adding this additional maintenance is a smart and low-cost investment to help keep Winnipesaukee clean," Tarpey said.

Some other tips for being a clean boater:

  • Use proper care when fueling your boat – do not top off your tank.
  • Do not wash your boat in the lake, only at an approved wash station, or away from the lake. Use nontoxic, and chlorine and phosphate-free cleaners.
  • Use pump-out stations; it is illegal to discharge untreated sewage into the lake.
  • Clean, drain, and dry your boat when trailering to help prevent the spread of invasive species from one water body to another.

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