DERBY — The Village of Derby Center is continuing a program for the fourteenth year to remove and control Eurasian water milfoil (EWM), an invasive exotic plant that was found in Derby Pond back in June of 2000.
The village hopes to minimize this aquatic nuisance plant as it affects the water quality and use. The village has received a grant as well as appropriations from the town of Derby and Village of Derby Center.
The grant will help with harvesting the milfoil and disposal of the milfoil afterward. The village has received the necessary state permits for this work.
Derby Pond, also known as Lake Derby, is a small lake of 207 acres, and the water source for the Derby Center Water Company. It has been the primary water source since 1997 and was the backup source from 1977 through 1997.
Approximately 417 connections serve approximately 1,000 residents and businesses, both in the village and the town. Average usage from Lake Derby is 3 to 4 million gallons per month.
Customers depend on the lake as their water source, so the use of chemical agents to remove the plant is not an option. The water supply is also the source for a Newport City industrial park and the city’s backup source.
It is the intent to save the water supply source from this aquatic nuisance.
The lake is used for recreational purposes by the general public as well as by the many homeowners with property surrounding the lake.
Continued growth of EWM without abatement could threaten the recreational use of the lake. Controlling the EWM population will also lessen the threat of it spreading into other bodies of water.
Hand pulling, suction harvesting, and bottom barrier devices are the only options for the village to use in removing EWM. It is vital to keep monitoring the EWM as other sources of drinking water are not available or feasible.
A qualified aquatic plant management firm will be returning to suction harvest the weed from the lake. The top priority will be to prevent any infestation near the water intake piping.
Follow-up EWM surveys will be made to see if the removal efforts and bottom barrier devices have had an impact or if further methods need to be addressed. Harvesting and pulling will continue in 2017 as necessary and as funds allow.
The village will be asking for in-kind donations of services, such as truck or tractor use, disposal sites for milfoil, and donations of supplies or materials.
Anyone who wishes to donate time or materials, please contact Karen Jenne at the village of’ Derby Center office or at 766-5313, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.