Carraízo reservoir in Puerto Rico has fallen victim to two of the world’s most invasive aquatic plants: water lettuce and water hyacinth. Often found together, the invasive plants grow at exponential rates, obstruct waterways, clog hydropower plants, and prevent sunlight from penetrating the water’s surface, reducing water quality.
The Aqueduct and Sewer Authority began its plan to remove and compost the aquatic vegetation from the reservoir as part of a project to improve the use and rendering of water for the 140,000 clients that are they serve as the dam.
The Aquarius Systems Aquatic Weed Harvester is removing about 4,000 cubic yards of water hyacinth weekly, which is then taken to composting facilities. Compost is a sustainable alternative to avoid the accumulation of vegetative material in landfills, whose capacity is already compromised.