Coventry restricts usage of lake water

·2 min read

Sep. 22—COVENTRY — The Town of Coventry has restricted the use of water from Coventry Lake to irrigate certain plants until October 21.

The town announced in an email blast on Monday that the use of water from the lake for irrigating newly seeded turf/ plants and certain plants (including tomatoes, peppers and tobacco) from the Solanaceae Family is restricted until October 21.

There are no irrigation restrictions for established turf, trees, shrubs and plants not within the Solanaceae Family.

The irrigation restrictions come as a result of the chemical treatment that was done on portions of Coventry Lake on Tuesday.

In accordance with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection ( CT DEEP), Pesticide Division notification requirements, portions of Coventry Lake were tested with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/ CT DEEP registered aquatic herbicide Sonar ONE to control non-native Hydrilla.

The chemical treatment work was performed for CT DEEP and the Town of Coventry pursuant to a permit issued by the CT DEEP. The treatment was performed by the state licensed firm SOLitude Lake Management of Shrewsbury, Mass.

Portions of Coventry Lake have been treated with the herbicide several times this year. The Town of Coventry said in an email blast on Monday that the treatment administered on Tuesday would be the final one for the 2022 season.

Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser said that the town has been treating Coventry Lake for Hydrilla for a number of years. It is an incredibly invasive plant that could make recreation impossible on Coventry Lake if it is left untreated.

"It's kind of the Godzilla of invasive plants," Elsesser said on July 18.

Elsesser believes that Sonar ONE will help to control Hydrilla from spreading throughout the lake.

"This is a unique chemical that basically prevents the plant from doing photosynthesis," he said on July 18. "So basically the plant starves and it doesn't affect other good plants."

The chemical treatment caused the lake to be closed to swimming on Tuesday. However, there was no restriction on boating or fishing that day and the CT DEEP boat ramp remained open.

Dominic Meringolo, project manager, nutrient remediation/ senior environmental engineer for SOLitude Lake Management, and Town of Coventry Land Use Director Eric Trott could not be reached for comment for this story.