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Hydrilla Treatment Taking Place in D&R Canal

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJSWA) is the agency that maintains and operates the D&R Canal, one of the two sources of drinking water for the City of New Brunswick.


A photo of the aquatic weed Hydrilla.

An invasive aquatic weed called Hydrilla is growing in the canal, a plant species that is a rising threat to water systems throughout the state. It grows very quickly – as much as an inch or more per day – and poses a threat to water flow and water quality in the canal.

If left untreated, this weed has the potential to limit water flow in the canal by up to 85 percent, which would drastically reduce the amount of raw water available for our drinking water supply. More than 1.5 million people in central New Jersey rely on the D&R Canal as a source for their drinking water.

To mitigate the growth of this weed, the NJWSA has begun a 120-day process of adding a low dose of a slow-acting herbicide called “Solar Genesis” to the canal. The herbicide is non-toxic to humans, animals and fish in the low concentrations in which it is being introduced to the canal.

The herbicide will be removed from raw water that enters the New Brunswick Water Treatment and Distribution Plant by way of a carbon feed system keeping New Brunswick’s water consistent with DEP and EPA-set drinking water standards. Accordingly, treated water provided by the Water Utility remains safe to drink and for cooking. Please note that there may be some  irrigation restrictions  in place for some nursery, greenhouse and hydroponic plants, as some species may be sensitive to the herbicide.

The herbicide will be added to the canal in Lambertville, Hunterdon County, and will flow with the water current in the direction of New Brunswick to address Hydrilla growth along the way. The herbicide will not be directly added to the canal within New Brunswick City limits.

For more information about Hydrilla treatment, please visit www.NJWSA.org/hydrilla.html.