Large-Scale Composting System as a Means of Controlling Water Hyacinth, Eichhornia crasspipes
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The water hyacinth, Eichhornia crasspipes, is a native of the Amazon River, but has become a significant aquatic weed problem in the United States. It is found in all major river systems in the U.S. The problems caused by water hyacinth include obstructing waterways, impeding drainage, destroying wildlife resources, and lowering the dissolved oxygen in waterways resulting in reduced oxygen available to animals and plants.
Although herbicides have been used to kill water hyacinth, harvesting either mechanically or by hand is preferred for environmentally sensitive areas. A major problem with harvesting as a method to remove the plant from waterways is to then dispose of the plant such that seeds are rendered non-viable.
The intent of this study is to determine if large scale composting is an effective means of disposing of water hyacinth by rendering the seeds and other propagules non-viable while producing a quality compost product for the horticulture industry.