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Floating rig battles invasive lake vegetation

In StarNews Online

by Terry Reilly

The lakes at Boiling Spring Lakes are not bubbling with scalding water. Instead of steam rising, the tentacles of invasive vegetation protrude from the city’s three main lakes.

The city launched a partial attack last year but retreated due to a lack of funds.

In February another assault plan took shape. The city approved a $62,500 contract for Solitude Lake Management to remove the insidious plants using a hydro-rake. The aquatic weed harvester is an alternative to chemical treatments.

Work started earlier this month and is expected to continue through most of June.

On a narrow section of Patricia Lake, Ray Sherwin could be seen maneuvering the hydro-rake and its paddle wheel propelled platform. Sherwin, who is based out of the company headquarters in Massachusetts, grabbed chunks of maidencane and carried it directly to shore.

“When I started here, the vegetation was so thick that I had to fight my way from a small channel and create a path to shore,” he said. “The vegetation is like an iceberg — about three quarters of it is below the surface.”

According to the company, removing dense aquatic vegetation eliminates nutrients that fuel further growth. The uprooted vegetation is piled on shore, trucked to a field to dry and then delivered to the Brunswick County landfill. Between 80 and 150 cubic yards of material are removed daily depending on the type of vegetation.

Read the rest of the story at StarNews Online.

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