Vessel equipped with ultraviolet light attacks invasive aquatic plants at Lake Tahoe

Carson Now

A new control tool for aquatic invasive plants that clog waterways, reduce water clarity and provide cover for other invasive species at Lake Tahoe continues to show impressive results in its third year of testing. The tool is a light array mounted under a working barge, which trolls through the marina dousing the plants on the lake bottom with ultraviolet-C light.

The technology, using the UV-C wavelengths of light to kill the plants, in this case Eurasian watermilfoil and curlyleaf pondweed, was developed by John J. Paoluccio, president of Inventive Resources, Inc. Aquatic invasive plants are one of the greatest threats to Tahoe’s clarity, ecology and recreation-based economy. The pilot project showed that applying the light treatment caused invasive plants to deteriorate or completely collapse within seven to 14 days of treatment.

The UV-C light is a short-wave electromagnetic radiation light that damages the DNA and cellular structure of aquatic plants and their fragments.

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