Using Ultraviolet Light To Kill Invasive Species At Tahoe

Jul 21, 2017

Engineers have been testing out a new method for killing off invasive aquatic plants in Lake Tahoe using ultraviolet light — and the results are promising. Our contributor Annie Conway of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly reports.

John Paoluccio, president of Inventive Resources, said he prefers to work at night when there is less activity on the water.
Credit Courtesy of Inventive Resources

Inventive Resources, Incorporated is a private engineering firm with a focus on environmental services. A company team has spent the last two years lab testing the effects of targeted ultraviolet light on non-native aquatic species, which plague the lake.

Their research shows that the light damaged the DNA and cellular structure of the plants, causing them to die.

They've also been doing a pilot testing program at Lakeside Marina in South Lake Tahoe. The marina was constructed in the '50s with underwater barriers to limit water movement that could jostle the boats.

The problem is that invasive plants prefer water that is still and warm, which has caused them to spread. At this point, some are up to 8-feet tall in the marina, posing a major threat to Lake Tahoe's clarity.