Green

Workers Fight Invasive Weed Threatening City Water Supply

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

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 Sonar 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 Sonar 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.

*Correction: The original version of this story called the herbicide “Solar Genesis.” Its name is Sonar Genesis. TAPinto New Brunswick regrets the error.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - September 20, 2017

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - In all the fluff of a political season - when all candidates promise to save the world in exchange for your precious vote - there's one issue that needs addressing: the F grade that our state finances have received from Truth in Accounting - a think tank that analyzes government financial reporting. Of no surprise, the think tank ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_61698f50b6d1d5f3aace_the_wreck_of_the_broker

Sat, September 23, 2:00 PM

The Metlar-Bodine House Museum, Piscataway

The Wreck of The Broker: The Story of New ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Sat, September 30, 11:00 AM

East Brunswick Elks, East Brunswick

ParaX Paranormal Expo

Arts & Entertainment

What's New at Rutgers This Year? For Starters, College Avenue

September 6, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — If you've recently walked College Avenue, you know just how different it looks.

But Rutgers University's upgrades didn't end there. In fact, from a renovated football practice complex to revamped food options, quite a bit has changed on the banks since the spring semester finished.

“This past year has been especially rewarding because we've ...

Rutgers President Criticizes Trump's Move to End DACA

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Rutgers University's president strongly rebuked President Donald Trump's decision today to end an executive order protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Robert Barchi, Rutgers' president, sent a letter to the university community in defense of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA, and what it does ...

Get Ready for Sunday's Annual Rubber Duck Race

September 22, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The 2017 Raritan River Festival and Rubber Duck Race is coming to town this Sunday, Sept. 24, noon to 6 p.m. at Boyd Park, on the riverside of Route 18 and Commercial Avenue in New Brunswick.

Admission is free and parking is available at the Rutgers University Public Safety Parking Deck.

Now in its 38th year, the festival first came to light in 1980, in celebration ...

State Infant/Child Car Seat Rules Currently in Effect

September 13, 2017

TRENTON, NJ - Effective September 1, 2015, legislation set in place revised parameters relative to the use of infant / child car seats in the Garden State. New Jersey guidelines currently mandate the following:

Newborn to Age 2

Children under age 2 and under 30 lbs. must be in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness. Toddlers who are tall or have long legs ...

OPINION

Should New Brunswick Become the New State Capital?

September 21, 2017

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

 I'm a thinker-and hopefully not an idealist as much as a pragmatist.  Growing up I thought I wanted to be an engineer, but only later did I realize I was mainly preoccupied in the learning of the concepts, physics, more than the application, engineering, of the craft.  It was not because I did not want to apply what I learned in the classroom in ...

LD17 Assembly Candidate Robert Quinn initial platform proposals

September 12, 2017

                “What are you offering me?”

                It is a phrase occasionally heard on the campaign trail, albeit sometimes articulated in a less blunt fashion. Still, while it is direct, it is an important question to be answered ...