An unwanted species of plant has reestablished itself in Beaverdam Reservoir and the county will be taking steps to eliminate it by introducing Sterile Grass Carp to the reservoir over the next several weeks to feed on the plant.
Gloucester’s director of public utilities Marty Schlesinger said the invasive species commonly known as Hydrilla has spread and is currently covering 30-35 percent of the reservoir. This can pose several problems at the county’s water treatment plant, including a physical problem blocking the raw water pumps and also a biological problem by reducing the level of dissolved oxygen in the raw water.
Schlesinger said though the reduced oxygen level will impact the water treatment process, he emphasized to the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors during its meeting Oct. 2 in the colonial courthouse that the presence of the Hydrilla does not present a public health issue.
He said the county explored a number of options to eliminate the Hydrilla in the reservoir, but the only option that was appropriate in a water treatment situation was the introduction of the carp.