Williams Lake hoping to tackle lake weed problem with weed harvester

Williams Lake city council approved the $25,000 purchase for a lake weed harvester to remove weeds from the lake, as seen here at the Dutch Point Road boat launch. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Weeds are thick in some areas of Williams Lake. (Scott Nelson photo)
The City has put in a offer of $25,000 for a lake weed harvester. (Scott Nelson photo)
Removing weeds from Williams Lake is priority, says Coun. Scott Nelson. (Scott Nelson photo)
Boaters have been complaining to the City that weeds are problematic and getting tangled in boat motors. (Scott Nelson photo)

After exploring options the City of Williams Lake is purchasing a machine that can remove weeds from the lake.

City council, during its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 11, unanimously approved spending up to $30,000 on a lake harvester in advance of receiving permits from the appropriate government ministry to use it.

Read more: Lake weed removal a priority for Williams Lake city council

Coun. Scott Nelson said the City went after a piece of equipment to purchase that goes into the water, can reach four and half feet below the surface, pull the weeds and cut them up.

“We can take the weeds to shore, either burn them on site or use them as part of our recycling, composting project.”

About seven months ago, city council took the position to have good, clean access to the lake, he said.

“If you go down to Scout Island you cannot even get your boat out into the water without getting stuck in the weeds. You cannot even go swimming without getting caught in the weeds.”

Nelson said the plan would be to get out into the lake to cut weeds on an annual basis, and be proactive.

The City has made an offer of $25,000 and the lake harvester should arrive in a few days.

“We hope to have it up and running in a couple of weeks,” he added.

Mayor Walt Cobb said he’s heard complaints from kayakers and canoeists whose paddles have been tangled in the weeds and there was a float plane that almost upended because of the weeds.

“More importantly, we have a water licence on the lake for emergency purposes and right now, with the amount of weeds in there, I think they would plug up the pump and we wouldn’t be able to get the water out.”

Coun. Ivan Bonnell said he hopes the City receives the necessary permits to use the harvester and that the City will develop a fee-for-service policy for removal of weeds at residential properties.


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