Savannah River cleared for activity after herbicide deployment

Herbicide to impact Savannah River this week

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Crews have re-opened the Savannah River after deploying an herbicide to combat invasive weeds - like hydrilla - which can clog the waterways with their noxious growth.

"For the entire week, until the twelth, go ahead and don't swim, and by that time the river should have flushed itself and you can resume normal activities," said Tonya Bonitatibus.

The Savannah Riverkeeper warned users of the river that things would be a little different last week.

"The first thing people will notice is the river will start dropping significantly, so you'll actually be able to see parts of the bottom," said Bonitatibus.

The river level was lowered to allow the flow to become stagnant through Augusta to allow the herbicide to settle in.

It's all to combat hydrilla and other weeds which choke parts of the river.

"We have an airboat, or two, that will be out there for a couple days spraying herbicide everywhere," said Bonitatibus.

The weed is allowed to grow because of heavy amounts of nutrients that flow into the river, Bonitatibus said, from pollutants in sewage. They're hoping that issue will be fixed by projects currently going on to modernize the sewer and storm drain system.

"Over the next couple of years, we will hopefully have to use this less and less as a method as we get less and less of the sewage into the river," she said.

To learn more about hydrilla, go to this website.

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