Can anyone provide tips on removing weed from dams.

The first picture below shows our dam as it has looked from 2007 up until 6 months ago.

The second picture shows how it looks now. Totally clogged with some kind of dam weed.

We pump water from this dam and it is vital to our food gardening, but in its current state the inflow to the pump gets clogged with the roots that dangle down below the surface.

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Comment by bernard on August 7, 2017 at 22:12

hello, did you try to put some sea shell in your dam, have a look, can be helpfull..nothing to loose to try. as well the weeds can be a good compost for your plant..

Comment by Liz Woods on April 17, 2017 at 19:41

Love your approach to working with the gifts of nature, Colin ... not sure why there was a need to clear the weed on ours, but Lawrie and his mate loved the boyzone project of it.

Comment by Colin Westwood on April 15, 2017 at 16:00

You have a valuable resource. This is called Salvinia. It thrives in high nutrient level dams. There is a mite that consumes it but you probably actually have this mite already.

My old farm in the Tweed Valley had this on all my dams and when the wind blew an upturned grass rake was used to harvest this stuff as it is an absolutely fabulous mulch or compost and it powered my farming business for many years with very few extra inputs. Over the summer months, it can double it's size in one day so once your dam is 50% covered, the following day will see a 100% carpet. Yes, I had to submerge my water line below the root zone to avoid blockages.

Comment by Liz Woods on December 29, 2016 at 13:02

Shayne Meisbusch's approach to clearing a build-up of weed is what we did, initially. Then, after lots of hard work dragging out the weed, we have kept on top of it by using the wind to our advantage. When we get a strong westerly, we collect the small plants, which are blown into one area, with short handled nets and remove them before they can grow. They are just dumped on the bank, they dry out. Once they're partially dried, they can be added to the compost. When we pumped from the dam, weeded up like that, we used a steel box frame about 1.5m square covered in shade cloth around the foot valve intake for the dam, to filter the water through the weed.

Comment by Sari Csollany on December 27, 2016 at 1:21

Have you identified the weed in question? Can't really tell from your pics, it simply looks like a mat of green. Whatever it is you could try removing it as Shayne suggested and quickly replacing it with a different variety that isn't so hazardous (i.e. no/less dangly roots) to your water pumping system. Weeds are like that, if you don't put something in a niche Nature will use whatever is handy to plug it up for you. Only way to stop it without having to continuously remove them over and over again is to shove something more preferable in it's place to crowd them out.  

Alternatively I would think modifying the pumping system so that the inflow is at a deeper level, bypassing the problem roots, might be worth a go too. Though that'll depend if you can go deeper than the roots without mud/silt becoming a problem

Comment by Shayne Meibusch on November 19, 2016 at 15:35
Unfortunately I've weeded dams before and depending on the weed it's an ongoing job. We made up a boom weeder which Pulls the weed to the side of the dam then we raked it up and feed it to the horses or let it dry for a few days and use that as mulch. The boom was a 2 1/2 meter Lenght of 100 mm PVC downpipe with sealed ends and wireD on pegs about 200 mil long every foot with two ropes on either end. It's a two man job one on either side of the dam and you slowly pull the boom across with the two ropes to the bank . There is also a aquantic herbicide that you can use but then you are still left with dead plants in your dam which go stinky, or there is a company you can pay to come out and we'd your dam . Good luck let me know if you have any questions. Shayne

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