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Potter Lake Aquatic Vegetation Harvested by University

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas contracted with Estate Management Services, Inc. (Brunswick, Georgia), to assist with the removal of excessive aquatic vegetation from Potter Lake, especially the invasive water lilies.  This effort took place August 11-13 and is part of the University’s commitment to maintain and improve the environmental condition of Potter Lake.

KU-EHS provides: "It is important to the natural functioning of Potter Lake to control the excessive growth of aquatic vegetation in the lake. Each year during the fall and winter months, this vegetation dies and settles to the bottom of the lake where it decomposes. This decomposition results in the release of nitrogen and phosphorus that accelerates the rate of eutrophication of Potter Lake resulting in unsightly algal blooms covering the surface of the lake like the one that occurred in 2010. Mechanical harvesting was chosen in lieu of chemical treatment based on the input/feedback of stakeholder’s group (Faculty, Staff, & Students) that voiced the desire to not use chemicals and the administrative work group that supported it."

Stan Loeb, an Environmental Specialist at KU, says the clean-up is an ongoing effort. "The university is committed to maintain the environmental quality of not only the whole campus, but especially Potter Lake, which is of great interest to our current students, our alumni, our faculty and staff and the public that is able to utilize this facility." 

Approximately 100 tons of plant material was removed from Potter Lake. The harvested material will be composted and re-used in various areas around campus.

Project Details

  • Project Managed by: Marion Paulette and Allison Gerth, KU Design & Construction Management
  • EHS Project Liaison: Dr. Stan Loeb
  • Project Assistance from: KU-Operations & Maintenance equipment operators, Mike Jones, Phillip Vaughn, landscaper Mike Lang, and Jon Rossillon, KU-EHS.
  • Funding for Project: Office of Associate Vice Provost for Campus Operations (Barry Swanson)
  • Project Costs: ~ $10,000.00
  • Material removed: ~100 tons of plant material (predominately water lilies)

Video: Potter Lake Water Lilly Harvesting

Slideshow (click thumbnails to view)

Media/Press Coverage

LJWorld.com story

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