The first spraying of fluridone to remove milfoil and hydrilla weeds from the Roseberry Creek Embayment appears to be successful so far, according to Terry Goldsby, president of Aqua Services, Inc., the company hired for the project.
"We are approaching three weeks post treatment since the initial application was applied," said Goldsby. "All indications are that the product and process are working exactly as designed."
Goldsby said samples have been analyzed on two occasions. A third sample was expected Wednesday.
Goldsby said the first sampling came three days after the initial treatment.
"We conducted a four ppb 'bump' application to bring our concentration up to approximately 10-12 ppb," said Goldsby.
Goldsby said another bump is expected around June 5.
"This bump will keep us in the lethal concentration range for aquatic vegetation," said Goldsby, "but not put us into a range that will harm lawns and shrubbery."
Goldsby said there are many examples of dying milfoil and hydrilla in the embayment.
"Both milfoil and hydrilla are showing the pink-whitish coloration associated with fluridone toxicity," said Goldsby. "In some areas, they are already flaccid and weak, and beginning to drop out. Overall, I'd say that we've had a perfect stretch of weather to produce stellar results."
Goldsby added that is was now safe for Roseberry residents to water established lawns, ornamentals, shrubs and trees. However, he said it would not be wise to water young, tender vegetable plants like squash, tomatoes or peppers.
"Also it would be unadvisable to water newly seeded lawns," said Goldsby. "The concentration of fluridone will remain above four ppb for several more weeks, and this concentration could be injurious to the previously mentioned plants."
The 2012 Roseberry project expanded from 900 acres in 2009 to 1,100 acres this year, and also includes an additional 144 acres for contact herbicide zones.
The city of Scottsboro and Jackson County Legislative Delegation each contributed $50,000 toward the $200,000 project, along with $50,000 from the Roseberry Rescue Group, a non-profit organization. The Jackson County Commission declined to contribute.