Clean up!

Trash booms on the Cooum River have been effective in preventing plastic from entering the sea. However, irregular cleaning of the waste caught by the netting slows the flow of water and boosts water hyacinth growth.Hyacinth infestations are seen in the slow flowing Adyar and Cooum Rivers in summer. But with the trash booms and further slowing flow of water, hyacinths are seen in stretches before the trash booms.

The city corporation has placed trash booms in seven out of the nine proposed locations for the Cooum River. The Adyar River is yet to get its first trash boom. “The trash booms are cleaned every 15 days or when  necessary,” said an official involved in the restoration of the Cooum River. But, this is ample time for a hyacinth colony to increase its size by 50 per cent.

This means hyacinth washed down from other stretches of the water can also grow exponentially at these stretches before clogged trash booms. Water hyacinth reproduces through runners and stolons which form daughter plants. The seeds remain viable for 20 years, making it hard to eliminate from an aquatic environment once infestation begins.....Read more


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