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Annual Potter Lake Water Lily Harvesting Project Completed

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas recently completed a project to remove excess aquatic vegetation and invasive water lilies from Potter Lake.  This effort began on Monday, August 15, 2016 and was completed on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.  During this two-day operation, approximately 135 tons of aquatic vegetation was removed from the lake. The purpose of this project is to prevent and minimize eutrophication of the lake which can lead to excessive growth of algae and 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 food (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus) which accelerates the rate of eutrophication of Potter Lake which has resulted in unsightly algal blooms covering the surface of the lake in the past.

This plant removal effort is part of the University’s commitment to maintain and improve the environmental condition of Potter Lake as part of the overall environment of the campus.

Project Details

  • Project Contractor: Estate Management Services, Inc. (Brunswick, Georgia)
  • Project Managed by: Marion Paulette and Allison Gerth, KU Design & Construction Management
  • EHS Project Liaison: Dr. Stan Loeb
  • Project Assistance from: Mike Jones & Andy Peterson, KU-Central Operations & Maintenance equipment operators; Mike Lang, Landscape Manager; and Chuck Ferguson, KU-EHS.
  • Funding for Project: Campus Operations (supported by Jim Modig, Shannon Nelson & Barry Swanson)
  • Project Costs: ~ $7,800.00
  • Material removed: ~135 tons of plant material (predominately water lilies)

Video: How the Potter Lake Water Lily Harvester Works

Slideshow (click thumbnails to view)

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