What is the green on our water?


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – All the green that you see on our local lakes and ponds, well that isn’t all algae, in fact it’s a flowering plant. Biologists say it’s a plant called duckweed, and is the smallest flowering plant.

“These usually get around on ducks’ feet, so birds and other type of water fowl will come in here eat the duckweed, fly off and carry it to another pond and then they will start to grow there,” explained Peter Coppinger, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at Rose-Hulman.

When you drive by a local lake you think it is screaming algae, when in fact we are looking at life that is nursing our water and soaking some of the bad stuff.

“No this doesn’t concern me one bit, every single duckweed that you see out there is sucking in nitrates and basically robbing it from potential algae that would be clogging the water system,” said Coppinger.

“The water that leaves here is cleaner than the water than came in,” said Coppinger.

We tend to look at water with the view of blue and clear are good, well sometimes the green can keep it clean.

“This is not a sign of polluted water, not at all,” stated Coppinger.

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