Invasive weeds in Fountain City Lake result of small aquarium dumps

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Mounds of invasive aquatic weeds were pulled from Fountain City Lake as city maintenance crews worked to remove the species covering large portions of the water's surface.

In a blog post on the City of Knoxville website, authorities believe the source of these weeds were residents dumping the contents of their personal aquariums into Fountain City Lake.

The lake is not City-owned, but the City works collaboratively with the Lion’s Club and other community stakeholders to maintain the lake.

When the water was recently drained down to address the algae problem, a rainbow of aquarium gravel and non-native aquatic plants like parrot's feather grass was discovered.

“People may have the intent of giving their aquarium inhabitants a chance at life, but the reality is the fish and amphibians have almost no chance of survival, while the exotic plants are going to overtake native vegetation that serve a vital purpose in our waterways’ ecosystems,” said David Hagerman, Stormwater Engineer for the City of Knoxville.

“Fountain City Lake is giving us a concentrated look at the level of damage a few little invasive plants can cause.”

In the blog post, the city detailed the pile of dead weeds pulled amounted to three truckloads and two full days of work by inmates on work release at the one acre lake.