A lake weed harvester new to Williams Lake had its first run Monday, Oct. 19 in advance of the City hoping to receive a permit from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Resource Operations and Rural Development.
No weeds were harvested in the demonstration.
The City purchased the used equipment for $25,000 and upon receiving it city crews cleaned it up and repainted it.
As he watched it do a wet run around the lake from Scout Island, Mayor Walt Cobb said part of the cleaning of the machine was to ensure there were no weeds left inside to introduce into Williams Lake.
“We wanted to make sure there would be no weeds that were transferred — whether they were noxious weeds or whatever. It’s all been cleaned, power washed, sandblasted and repainted,” Cobb said, noting the City owned a similar machine years ago that was sold.
Coun. Scott Nelson said City workers also put new lines in and a special mineral oil so if there is ever a leak.
“It’s a fantastic job,” Nelson said. “You can see that it is going to do a great job for Williams Lake. We are set on cleaning Williams Lake up and this is a key piece of equipment. It’s great news.”
As for the permit, Cobb said the City has been waiting for over a year.
“Time is of the essence. We’ve got apparently right now, if the permit comes in a timely manner, until the end of October to harvest weeds.”
Cobb said the City is going to push the envelope to get the permit.
“We cannot do what we need to do without it,” he added.
City employees driving the weed harvester will have to have a boat licence.
Nelson added city council has made a commitment to clean up the lake and with more trails near the lake and the hope to create a master plan for a second beach the City wants to make the water is more clear, more accessible and part of that is cleaning up the weeds that have been affecting the lake for many years.
“This is part of that process,” Nelson said.