As part of our long term water lily remediation process, LAC deployed an aquatic harvester that has been hard at work for the past two weeks removing the widespread water lilies that contribute to Lake Agawam’s pollution. Water lilies are toxic for several reasons: they release noxious fumes (microcystin in the summer and hydrogen sulfide in the fall) that are dangerous to the surrounding community. The water lilies also create stagnant conditions that contribute to the growth of blue green algae. Their removal is additionally beneficial because the plants absorb nitrogen and phosphorous so removing them will reduce nutrients that fuel blue green algae growth. Though LAC has tried hand raking the lilies in the past, their aggressive expansion requires aggressive treatment. Nitrogen fuels the water lilies rapid growth. We are hopeful that the repeated use of this aquatic harvester from Roux Engineering throughout the summer will thin the water lilies permanently.