Other NJ News

Workers Fight Invasive Weed Threatening City Water Supply

6e8a4742176838afde05_hydrilla_2.jpg
The New Jersey Water Supply Authority is trying to stop Hydrilla, an invasive plant capable of degrading water flow and quality, from spreading along the Delaware & Raritan Canal. Credits: New Jersey Water Supply Authority
6e8a4742176838afde05_hydrilla_2.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – An intruder has taken to one of New Brunswick’s two sources of drinking water, threatening drinking water for residents here and beyond, according to City Hall.

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority, the public entity that oversees the Delaware & Raritan Canal, hopes to curb the growth of Hydrilla, an “invasive aquatic weed” whose presence could affect 1.5 million Central Jersey residents’ drinking water, according to the city.

“It grows very quickly—as much as an inch or more per day—and poses a threat to water flow and water quality in the canal,” city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw said online. “If left untreated, this weed has the potential to limit water flow in the canal by up to 85 percent, which would drastically reduce the amount of raw water available for our drinking water supply.”

Sign Up for E-News

The New Brunswick Water Utility draws water from the D&R Canal and another source. It then treats the water and serves it to customers in the city, Milltown and Franklin Township.

State water supply workers have launched a 120-day battle against the invasive weed. They plan to add a “low dose of a slow-acting herbicide” named Solar Genesis to the canal, to “mitigate” growth, according to the city.

The chemical is “non-toxic to humans, animals and fish in the low concentrations in which it is being introduced,” Bradshaw wrote.

New Brunswick’s water treatment and distribution plant is expected to remove the herbicide through a carbon-feed system, she said. The process should keep water quality in line with state and federal standards, she noted.

But water authorities may place restrictions on irrigation systems for nurseries, greenhouses and hydroponic plants, according to the city. That’s because some plants “may be sensitive” to Solar Genesis.

The water supply authority intends to pump the herbicide into the canal in Hunterdon County. It will flow down the 60-mile channel toward New Brunswick, battling Hydrilla as it goes.

“The herbicide will not be directly added to the canal within New Brunswick City limits,” Bradshaw wrote.

Last summer, aquatic plants caused the water supply authority “extreme difficulty” in running water through the canal and to customers, according to its website.

The D&R Canal provides as much 100 million gallons of water per day to Central Jersey residents, according to the state water authority.

Hydrilla—which is named after Hydra, the nine-headed serpent enshrined in Greek mythology—is native to areas in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe, according to the state. It made its way to the U.S. in the 1950s through aquariums.

The plant produces “dense mats” capable of cutting down water flow and clogging culverts and pipes, according to the water supply authority.

It’s also been known to change water chemistry, from pH and dissolved oxygen levels to temperature, the state wrote.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

City Outlines $340K Parks Improvement Project, Plans To Create One More

June 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - City officials today outlined plans to improve to four municipal parks - at a cost of nearly $340,000 - and announced plans for creation of another park on a lot where previously there stood three abandoned homes.

Mayor James Cahill’s office said the city council tonight will consider resolutions allocating $150,000 for an agreement with the private, non-profit agency ...

Thousands Expected in Hillsborough for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

What Do TSA Officers Want Travelers To Know?

June 20, 2018

RICHMOND, VA  – You come to an airport checkpoint hoping to catch your flight and arrive at your destination safely and on time. Seems simple enough, but sometimes something you weren’t expecting comes up at the checkpoint and it slows you down.

Meet Deborah Simms and Ryan Seymour, Transportation Security Administration officers at Richmond International Airport (RIC).

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

June 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...