Green Algae Control Lake Management
DIY Chemical Applications

    There are a few basics that will be used in all chemical applications. Let’s start with equipment. You should have a spray wand with an adjustable spray tip that easily goes from a straight stream to an open cone or fan pattern. Fan patterns offer better coverage but have a limited range and are very prone to drift. The mist created from an open pattern, the drift, can easily be windblown onto non target species. Temperature inversions can even carry drift away from the treatment area. Pressure is another contributing factor to drift, high pressure creates more drift. The straight stream covers the greatest distance with the least amount of drift but is inadequate for close quarter applications. Having a spray wand that is easily adjustable is essential so that a combination of spray patterns can be used to cover all scenarios. I will commonly start my application near the boat with a moderately open pattern and as I work away from the boat I will gradually shift to a closed pattern. This gives the coverage needed at close range and then the straight stream give you the distance, the combination allows you to cover a larger area in a single pass by.
Straight stream spray pattern
      In this video you see how regular pond water runs and flows over the surface of a leaf of American Water Lotus. It flows as if it were liquid mercury, in beads of liquid but never penetrates the plants surface and never saturates the plant. This is due to the surface tension created by tiny hairs, a defense mechanism of the plant. Without the proper surfactant your product will never come into direct contact with the plants surface and therefore can't be effective.
      Green Algae Control's spray boat uses a custom injection system, pictured right. With this rig we are able to inject the approiate amount of product directly into our prop-wash where it is then quickly and evenly distributed. This ensures uniform chemical concentrations over the entire treatment area, which is essential to provide the desired results. Other methods use drop tubes and various other methods. These can be effective but are prone to collecting vegetation and debris and then rising to the surface. This fixed sytem eliminates that.
Moderate spray pattern
Open fan spray pattern
Pictured Left: Straight stream, Moderate Fan, and Open Fan Patterns are used to cover many different spaying scenarios.
      Surfactants are especially important in topical treatments. A surfactant improves coverage and increases chemical absorption. However not all surfactants are the same. Some surfactants have Oil based components that help resist evaporation and other Non-ionic surfactants can help reduce surface tension and allow penetration of fine hairs. When treating plants such as American Water Lotus and Water Lettuce the use of a Non-ionic Organo-Silicone surfactant is critical to penetrate the fine hair-like structures that repel water. Without this type of surfactant the fine hairs create surface tension that causes the product to bead-up on the hairs and roll off of the plant. On the other hand some products like Imazamox based chemicals specifically say to use with MSO type surfactants. MSO stands for Methylated Seed Oils, these surfactants help penetrate fine hairs but also resist evaporation. Chemicals are only absorbed through the leaves while in a liquid state; this is why delayed evaporation is an important trait in a surfactant.
Custom injection rig
      For the treatment of submerged vegetation you will need to inject the chemical below the water surface. The injection of the product will bring it into direct contact with the submerged plants and make it more effective. If this product were simply applied topically surface tension will hold the product on or near the ponds surface where it is prone to drifting away from the treatment area via wind and water currents. Injection can be done with nearly any spary equipment so long as the spraying apparatus is atleast 8-10 inches below the surface. Through years of experience and research we have an Injection method that is far superier to any that we have seen todate.
     Hopefully this section will have given you an inside look into what it means to propperly apply herbicides. With the multitude of different plants you may encounter there is always an appropiate application method to ensure the desired results. Effective applications can be the difference between a sucessful treatment and marginal results, it's cheaper to do it right the first time. GAC is also offering, free of charge, the following paper that goes into greater detail about the specficics of certain treatments and methods. You are welcome to use this information to manaage your private pond. Keep in mind though that YOU MUST follow all safety requirements and always comply with state and federal laws. Fully read and understand all product labels and MSDS.