Cattails in the sewage lagoon

Don’t allow cattails and other vegetation to grow in your sewage lagoon. They can damage the bottom and sides, allowing wastewater to leak through. Vegetation blocks airflow and sunlight at the surface of the water, which are needed for beneficial aerobic and anaerobic bacteria processes. Weeds also attract mosquitoes.

Becky Schuerman is a wastewater and domestic water associate at the University of Nebraska. She says mechanical removal and hand pulling are two options for getting rid of cattails.

"With mechanically removing the cattails, you can do it by cutting which will need to be done several times throughout the season because typically you’re cutting off just what you can see above the water. You can also do it by dredging, scraping the sludge out of your lagoon. And with that, you also get the rhizomes, the crowns and roots," says Schuerman. "Or, you can do it by hand pulling. This is probably a faster control than cutting because you are pulling everything out."

She says pulling out cattails is a lot easier in the spring when they’re small. You're asking for a workout later in the year when they're already established.

Chemical control is another option.

"You want to get an herbicide that’s going to kill not only the green that it hits, but also go down and go through to the root. Your aquatic glyphosates are probably your best bet for that," she says. "You could also use 2,4-D."

Apply aquatic herbicides with a pressurized hand sprayer. Keeping the water depth between two-and-four-feet also helps with rooted plant control.

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