MAWSS Provides Update on Access to Big Creek Lake Due to Spread of Invasive Plant Species | Mobile County Alabama News


The mobile zone’s water and sewer system closed recreational access to Big Creek Lake due to the spread of an invasive plant species.

The lake is the main source of drinking water for Mobile and other surrounding areas.

MAWSS said the plant found in the lake is the giant Salvinia. It is spread by the wind and by boats moving from one body of water to another.

The following is a press release provided by MAWSS on the continued closure of Big Creek Lake and the emergency use of herbicide treatments to control the spread of giant salvinia.

MOBILE, September 24, 2021– MAWSS continues its efforts to eradicate and contain the giant salvinia discovered six weeks ago at Big Creek Lake. The giant Salvinia is a very invasive species of aquatic plants. A single plant can grow to an acre in three months. These plants usually grow in thick mats along the shoreline and cause ecological problems, increase processing costs, and cause expensive equipment repairs.

“We call on everyone to be informed, vigilant and responsible to prevent the spread of this and any invasive species in Big Creek Lake,” said Monica Allen, public relations manager at Mobile Area Water & Sewer System.

Last week, our board of directors approved emergency spending of $ 122,739 for herbicide treatments and containment equipment due to the Giant Sylvania outbreak at Big Creek Lake. The herbicides used are Penoxsulam and Flumioxazin, and methylated seed oils (MSO), as a surfactant.

MAWSS sprays about 100 acres of Big Creek Lake each week to eliminate the giant Salvinia found there. The application of these herbicides has been approved by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for use in water sources, which means that the water in Big Creek Lake is potable. MAWSS also uses mechanical measurements. Large dams contain plants to keep them isolated and prevent them from drifting to other areas.

Giant Salvinia spores are inactive in plants found in the United States. They cannot be spread this way according to the experts we have worked with. Giant salvinia is found in 24 watersheds in Alabama, Texas, California, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida.

Currently, the lake is still closed to boaters to prevent the spread of floating fern. This is probably the plant’s method of transporting to Big Creek Lake. “We hope to reopen the lake when we can – nothing is excluded when it comes to ensuring water quality. The situation may change as we move forward, ”said Bud McCrory, MAWSS director of water and sewerage. “Our goal is to reopen the lake. We will advise boat owners what steps to take at this time to use the lake responsibly to ensure this plant does not spread to other water bodies or recontaminate Big Creek Lake. . New regulations including boat washing mandates and other guarantees will be put in place. We do not have a timeline at this point for reopening, as removing aquatic invasive species is one of the most difficult conservation tasks to achieve. ”

It is important to remember that Big Creek Lake is the primary source of drinking water for 200,000 people in our community. “Water quality is our top priority during this process and at all times,” says Allen. MAWSS will provide frequent updates to the public if the situation warrants it.

Original story —–

MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) – The mobile zone’s water and sewer system has closed recreational access to Big Creek Lake due to the spread of an invasive plant species.

The lake is the main source of drinking water for Mobile and other surrounding areas.

MAWSS said the plant found in the lake is the giant Salvinia. It is spread by wind and by boats moving from one body of water to another.

The plant aggregates near riverbanks and banks and doubles in size every five to seven days. Giant Salvinia rugs can kill aquatic life and native plants by reducing lake oxygen levels. The water company said it must close public access to the lake while it combats invasive species.

The Fox Landing boat launch closed at sunset on Monday, July 26. An area at the northern tip of the lake popular for fishing was fenced off earlier this month.

In a statement, MAWSS said, “We plan to reopen Fox Landing once we eradicate the invasive plants. It is not possible to remove these plants with access to pleasure boats. Recreational access to the lake. disrupts the water, moving spores and plant clusters to new locations. Stopping the spread of these plants is essential to us, which is why we are working to protect our local water supply.

MAWSS said it plans to reopen access to the lake once the plants are removed.

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