If you are fortunate enough to own a lakeside property, you may also have the misfortune of having to deal with encroaching lake weeds which will necessitate some form of lake weed control if you wish to utilize the watery domain on your doorstep. Aquatic weeds tend to proliferate when there is an abundance of nutrients flowing into the lake. This is particularly problematic when your lake is situated in close proximity to a built-up (urban or residential) area with lots of impervious concrete surfaces which promote runoff of pollutants such as fertilizers via stormwater runoff. Fertilizers are one source of nutrient enrichment; others include sewage leakage from septic tanks and manure from livestock. These pollutants can also come from non-point sources further upstream, making it extremely difficult to pinpoint or control the direct source.
HOW TO CONTROL LAKE WEEDS
While we may not have any control over the source of these pollutants, we can control the aquatic weeds that flourish as a result of these nutrient inputs. However, there are various methods of lake weed control, and some harm more than just the weeds and can have lasting environmental effects. We therefore need to consider the longterm effects of the action we take when applying any form of pond weed control.
Chemical Lake Weed Control
Chemical herbicides are routinely used for lake weed control, but while they are effective at killing aquatic weeds, they are not selective, and kill all aquatic plants they come into contact with. This can have dire implications to freshwater ecosystems, as plants are an essential component which provide food, shelter and oxygen to other living organisms within the system. They also take up the nutrients from the water, and without any plants being present, algal blooms will quickly form, taking advantage of the space, nutrients and light available now that all their competition is eliminated. This will create a whole new (and much worse) problem for homeowners to resolve. Furthermore, herbicides used for aquatic weed control consist of toxic chemicals that can contaminate the water, posing a health risk to recreational users and to drinking water supplies. Homeowners want a clean, healthy freshwater body that they can enjoy without posing undue risk to their family.
Sustainable Aquatic Weed Control
However, there are alternatives to using chemicals for lake weed control. One of the most effective methods of selectively eradicating pond weeds is installing a Lake Bottom Blanket. The Lake Bottom Blanket is installed by lowering it into the water until it reaches a depth of a few inches above the lake floor, where it is held in position by strategically placed weights. The blanket is suspended a few inches from the bottom of the lake, allowing fish to swim freely above and beneath the sheet. It kills aquatic weeds by blocking sunlight the plant needs for photosynthesis. When the plant is deprived of sunlight it cannot grow or sustain itself and quickly dies. Once the weeds are eradicated the blanket can be removed and stored for future use.
Benefits of Using the Lake Bottom Blanket for Pond Weed Control
The Lake Bottom Blanket offers several benefits for aquatic weed control:
- Selective Lake Weed Control — it can be placed wherever it is needed to target specific lake weeds without harming other aquatic plants in the system. If you want a patch in front of your property cleared, it will achieve this without eradicating every living plant in the lake — weed or not.
- No Harmful Chemicals — no potentially harmful chemicals are added to the water that your kids are going to swim in, or which provides you (or those further downstream) with a source of drinking water. Chemical herbicides can remain in the water and sediments for long periods and besides the health risks, they may directly or indirectly affect a wide range of aquatic organisms over the short and long term.
- Easy to Implement — the Lake Bottom Blanket is easy to install, making it an affordable DIY option that any homeowner can implement for effective pond weed control.
- Low Cost— because it can be installed by the homeowner, installation costs are nil, and it can be reused over and over again at no extra cost. Other non-chemical methods of lake weed control require expensive, labor-intensive clearing operations that will need to be repeated from time to time, incurring a cost to the homeowner each time.
So, don’t be a fool when it comes to aquatic weed control. Make a sound decision that will effectively control your problem without creating additional problems, or even potentially causing a severe ecological threat to the entire freshwater system.