At a recent council meeting a resident brought up a question regarding Pine Lake. He asked if Pine Lake was polluted and if not, why swimming isn’t allowed. I will attempt to answer his questions.
In November of 1935, a project was started on the Ridgeway branch of the Toms River to prevent the flooding of the town we now call Toms River, and parts of Berkeley Township. President Roosevelt approved an application to construct a dam and create a detention/retention facility, now called Pine Lake. The work was to be done by the W.P.A., the “Works Project Administration,” a work stimulus program developed to provide some relief from the job losses during the “Great Depression."
The water detained/retained in Pine Lake originates in more than a half dozen tributaries located throughout Jackson Township and parts of north Manchester. These tributaries collect run-off from thousands of acres of both farmland and residential complexes. While the water in Pine Lake may not be polluted at any given moment, the condition is determined by the amount of rainfall.
This large detention/retention facility was never proposed to be a swimming lake and because the magnitude and the number of streams, brooks, and yes rivers that feed into Pine Lake, the prospect that it will ever be safe for swimming for any extended period of time is remote, if not impossible, in our lifetime.