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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH)?

“DASH”, is the process of extraction of nuisance plants using a specialized suction system that is controlled by a diver. The suction system consists of a specialized boat that has been outfitted with unique pumps and a filtration or bagging system.

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The diver uses the suction system to remove overrun and invasive plant species by the rooting system. Other removed material usually includes past year’s plants lying on the bottom of the waterway. Suction harvesting is a superior process of nuisance plant control and elimination, because it removes the entire plant and its connected root system.

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Collected plants are stored in special filtration bags. No water is removed during the process and the plants are brought to the shore without the chance to regrow in a different area as it is possible with weed cutting. A variety of different filtration bags are available that allow us for the separation of water and debris. The weeds and all the solids flow into the filtration bag at rates up to 1200gpm, while the water passes back into the lake or pond.

Why is DASH superior to weed cutting or chemical treatments?

Much like removing weed infestations in someone’s backyard, the best way is to pull out the weed together with its roots. This way the chance of regrowth is minimized. Cutting weeds back will usually only work for a few weeks before they have grown back to their original spread. This concept is no different in the water. Just cutting back the nuisance plant will in many cases not last through the season.

When pulling weeds out while in the water, it is difficult to remove large amounts of plants simply because one cannot travers the area as easily. There is also the problem of transporting the pulled weeds to the shoreline. This is where the suction harvester comes in. The diver pulls the weed out together with its root system and uses the suction system to remove it from the water and bag it in special filtration bags. This way, the diver can concentrate on targeting and pulling the right plants and doesn’t have to interrupt the work to walk back to the shore and drop off a load of plants.

Chemical treatments have different problems. While they are successful at killing nuisance plants relatively fast and with much less labor involved, this method will not only eliminate the targeted plant but other non-invasive species. Also, the dead plants will stay in the water body and build up on the bottom. This will create a nutrition problem in the water that will over time lead to worse problems including algal blooms and muck accululation.

How large of an area can be harvested and how long does the DASH treatment last?

While DASH treatments may vary depending on many factors, our divers can typically expect to harvest 5,000-6,000 sqft in a one day treatment (80ft of frontage by 70 ft out). Factors that may potentially alter dimensions of harvesting inlcude weed type and density, bottom type, and water depth. A site visit from one of our specialists will help determine the expected time frame of the area to be harvested. One DASH treatment can expect as little as 10% regrowth the following year. Dense patches of prolific species like Eurasian Milfoil, Curly Leaf Pondweed, and Lily Pads may be harder to completly remove, but it is expected that with multiple treatments, complete eradication can be achieved.

I have a build up of leaf material and have difficulty getting my boat on and off my lift, does Eco remove leaves?

Yes, Eco has recently began using our suction method to remove leaf debris in order to help with boat navigation. Depending on the depth of leaf material we have taken as much as 2.5 feet on some properties, bringing years of navigational ease. The suction harvest time is a little different than for weeds, because we need to hand feed the leaves into the hose and potentially removing feet of material, expected harvest area can range from 800-2,000 sqft in one day of treatment. However, in some cases accumulation of muck greatly outweighs leaf material and not as much depth can be achieved. If interested in the process please contact us in order to set up a site visit.