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A spring without spray, mill pond stays weed-free so far

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June 30, 2010 - Goodrich- No weeds, no problem.

In October of last year, the village council approved the continuation and renewal of a Michigan Department of Natural Resources permit to spray the mill pond with chemicals for excessive weed growth, however they did not order the application.

Spring has passed into summer still no weeds.

"It's great news," said Pete Morey, village councilmember. "When we have a weed problem we all know it. I'm convinced that since the village installed sewers in 1991 much of our weed problem went away since the septic systems don't leach into the pond anymore. It's been about 20 we have sprayed to Mill Pond—if it becomes necessary we could still do it. But if we don't need to, we won't."

The savings will be about $4,000 per application, said village officials, adding that $7,500 was allocated in the budget.

Nick Barnes, pond water manager for Aqua-Weed Control, Inc., a Holly company that has specialized in chemical aquatic plant and algae control in lakes and ponds since 1975, emphasizes that weed growth depends on several factors.

"A lot depends on the nutrients in the water—each pond is different," he said. "Many times the depth of the water and the current play a big factor. The deeper water has fewer weeds, because sunlight can't reach the bottom of the pond. Similarly, stagnant water also contributes to weed growth and coupled with debris in the water prompts weed growth."

Barnes is uncertain if weeds will overgrow the mill pond, and a lot depends on the weather.

"If weeds get going in May, then it could be real bad come June and the summer months," he said. "However, if they get a slow start, a cold spring—sometimes weeds are stunted."

Barnes recommends pondside residents utilize non-phosphorus fertilizer and keep a buffer.

Morey added that if weeds come back, it may be necessary to spray for them.

"The spray acts pretty fast," he said.

"If it starts getting bad we can take care of the growing weeds."

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