A Ballina councilor says the endemic north coast weed water hyacinth could be used strategically to remove excess phosphorous from Lake Ainsworth in Australia.
Cr Jeff Johnson said a recently completed Ballina Council report into the water quality in Lake Ainsworth revealed that phosphorus levels have increased by approximately 100 per cent over the last 20 years.
He added that the higher levels of phosphorus in the lake increase the frequency and severity of algal blooms, including blue green algae.
Water hyacinth ‘does remove phosphorus and other nutrients from the water and its removal might be able to be coordinated in a way that increases its ability to remove additional phosphorus.’
‘The key is to ensure that it is removed before it produces seed.