By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Application of a powerful herbicide in Paugus Bay will be limited to areas away from the intake pipes for the city's drinking water, Laconia Water Superintendent Seth Nuttelman said Monday.
The herbicide 2,4-D will be applied to control milfoil, a non-native, green, slimy plant that chokes shallow water, crowds out native plants, damages habitat, snags fishing lures and clogs boat engines.
Its application will be limited to two areas. One is in the northernmost part of the bay near the Weirs Bridge and Thurston's Marina. The other is to the south, near Lakeport Landing Marina, which is downstream of the city's water intake.
"These are areas where the milfoil has thrived over the years," Nuttelman said.
He said that testing during previous applications failed to detect any evidence that the herbicide was getting into the city's drinking water.
"I've got a comfort level we won't see anything at all this time either," Nuttelman said.
The herbicide will be applied in September after Labor Day. Divers using suction hoses will also be part of the weed-removal effort.
The city has $46,000 to fund the milfoil control program, including almost $14,000 in state funds.
Nuttelman said that ultimately it would be good to do a study to better understand water flow patterns in Paugus Bay. Information from such a study could be used to guide future herbicide applications.
City Manager Scott Myers said such a study would cost $170,000 and funding has not been identified to do this.
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