Niverville’s community ponds are filling up with green sludgy plants making many residents unhappy.
Operations Manager Ryan Dyck says these unsightly plants are called duckweed.
Duckweed is a naturally occurring plant that grows upward from the bottom of the pond. Dyck says the clear waters in Niverville combined with this year’s warm and dry warm summer have created perfect conditions for theplants to thrive.
The retention pond, located within Fifth Avenue Estates, is separated by roads and culverts into four connected bodies of water. All four are affected.
Dyck admits that the duckweed does take away from the pond’s appearance and says steps are being taken to clear up the waters. The town is trying to come up with a solution that will improve the aesthetic of the water, while not harming any of the animals within.
“We want to be cognizant of aquatic life,” explains Dyck, “so we are trying to find the happy medium where we please residents by making it look aesthetically pleasing without leaving a layer of dead minnows laying across the surface of the water.”
In his research, Dyck has spoken with a handful of experts and has learned that there are other factors to consider as well.
“If the duckweed goes away, blue-green algae could take its place and that stuff is extremely toxic to dogs. We certainly don’t want to solve one problem and create a worse problem.”
Interestingly, a group of Manitoba scientists are considering introducing duckweed into Lake Winnipeg in efforts to reduce the ongoing algae problem in Lake Winnipeg.
At present, the Niverville retention pond is well aerated which makes the environment hostile to algae but conducive to duckweed growth. With that in mind, Dyck stresses that safely getting rid of both plants species is a delicate balance indeed.
The Town of Niverville is committed to solving this problem, but Dyck asks for residents’ patience as they determine the best way forward.