Aliens Invade Sewage works.(IOL)

Discussion in 'Aquatic plants' started by Slojo, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Slojo

    Slojo

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    Just released on IOL.

    The Strandfontein sewerage works, one of the most important birding areas on the Peninsula, is under siege by a highly aggressive invasive alien plant, and the City of Cape Town confirms that it doesn't have the resources to resolve the problem.

    Water hyacinth, originally from South America, is considered the world's worst invasive aquatic weed and has caused damage estimated at billions of dollars throughout Africa.

    But the city is trying various techniques to keep part of the sewerage works - correctly, the wastewater treatment plant - free of the plant, including a bio-control experiment.

    And it acknowledges that Zorro the hippo, who escaped from adjoining Rondevlei nature reserve in February and took up residence in one of the pans, is also hampering water hyacinth control efforts.

    The issue was raised recently by birder John Graham, who reported on the CapeBirdNet email forum that he was "sad to see that the nature reserve portion of the works seems to be in a state of deterioration".

    "Four of the ponds I drove past are totally choked with hyacinth and it seems to be ringing most of the shoreline of (pan) S2 and so presumably will shortly also be choking this pan. There also appears to be a significant volume of hyacinth on Pan 5, north of the main works."

    Graham also expressed concern about fishermen who were using two of the pans that were traditionally "very important" for wading birds and waterfowl.

    Fellow birder Jill Mortimer echoed his concerns: "I was there a few days ago and felt the same. Between the hyacinth and the fishermen, there wasn't much space for birds, let alone birders."

    Asked to comment, the city's manager of wastewater treatment, Kevin Samson, said the excessive growth of water hyacinth was not a new problem.

    "It is a problem throughout the city and requires specialist intervention and assistance. The wastewater section currently spends R2 million per annum to remove the hyacinth and has not succeeded in controlling its spread."

    "The hippo in S1 pond is still a problem. The pond is fenced in but until the animal is removed hyacinth cannot be removed from the pond."

    The operational manager at the works was in regular contact with the city's nature conservation officials and with the Cape Bird Club, Samson said.

    Dalton Gibbs, southern area manager for the city's environmental resource management department, said the hyacinth at Strandfontein was well established in two large ponds.

    "The extent of the infestation is presently beyond the resources that are available to eradicate the invasive plant in these pans.

    "Hyacinth was detected on a further five ponds and has been removed. Weekly monitoring is done on these ponds to ensure no re-infestation takes place."


    Goes to show hey?
     
  2. Guest




  3. Gilbertr14

    Gilbertr14 Phenacogrammus

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    I could lend them my 4 barbs for the weekend :)


    Explains why all floating plants are a NO NO.
     
  4. Ruan

    Ruan Wooden Spoon

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    Also, see pic. India also struggling with the infestation.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. OP
    Slojo

    Slojo

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    Water Lawnmower?
     
  6. Ruan

    Ruan Wooden Spoon

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    Just hook up to the back of the hippo?


    EDIT- WTF is a hippo doing in our sewage works?
     
  7. johan008

    johan008

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    I hope the person who brought this to our waters gets a sharp pain where the sun don't shine.
    And for the hippo if it can survive in the ocean why not in the sewage works (water is water)
     
  8. Ruan

    Ruan Wooden Spoon

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    I'm guessing a hippo is a bit more tricky to remove than, say, some pond plants would be. :bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Kribs

    Kribs The betta connection

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    Water hyacinth was first recorded in South Africa on the Cape Flats in 1908 (Stent, 1913) and was introduced into KwaZulu-Natal at about the same time (Edwards & Munsil, 1975). Since then, nutrient-enriched waters have assisted its spread throughout the country (Hill & Cilliers, 1999)

    It appears most WEEDS do well in South Africa **coff**:D


    ROFL @ Pic......"Its a runaway Lawnmower!"
     
  10. carl p

    carl p

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    what the hel is a hippo doing in strandfontein poor thing,

    and to the above hippomower i also received that on email,

    thats damn funny, i while ago we camped on a farm next to the limpopo river near elisras and had the hippo shatter his turds against the tent that nite......thats the closest i ever came 2 a hippo and 2 shattering myself
     
  11. SauRoN

    SauRoN

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    This is the same Hippo that escaped about a year ago, and I think also hurt/killed an old tannie when it was chilling in the Liesbeeck river.

    Apparently they left it where it was happy, and monitored it there instead.
     
  12. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    The hippo came over from Rietfontein nature reserve, it was a young male driven out by the alpha male. Veegal and Myself often went bird photographing at strandfontein and we are also saddened by the downturn in the upkeep of the works....BTW they have mozzies the size of birds ion that place
     
  13. Gilbertr14

    Gilbertr14 Phenacogrammus

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    They tap you on the shoulder and ask you your blood type.
     
  14. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    I've been wondering about this thing of the Hyacinth...
    Doesn't it protect the water from evaporation to some extent? And clean out pollutants?
    And how are they clearing it that it costs 2 MILLION rand a year???
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  15. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    Hyacinth is the most invasive weed known to man. It clogs the water, lets in no light, there are no nutrients left, therefore no food, therefore no fish.

    The only way to clear it is to drag it out and kill it - but it grows too fast, and the process breaks off pieces that grow making the problem worse..
    In the african rift lakes they are experimenting with biological methods to clear it..
     
  16. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    But if it comes from South America, surely they have something that eats it or slows it's growth?
    But then you'd have the problem of the new thing taking over.

    I say it should be removed and turned into biodiesel to run the boats that remove it. And return their water content back to the dam
     
  17. carl p

    carl p

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    cant be used for biodiesel because the plant contains no strarch
     
  18. johan008

    johan008

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    Ja there is a animal that eats some of it (the capybara) but not fast enough and of course their is the case of the anaconda's lurking in the water
     
  19. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    My bad, bioethanol :)
     
  20. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    That's the bugs they are testing and the trials are very positive
     
  21. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    Do you know who's doing the trials and testing?
    I'd like to see some of their work, and I've got a botanist friend that would be very interested too :)
     

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