Safe Water Treatment Options—For People and Environments

     Nuisance aquatic vegetation control and harmful algae bloom treatments have garnered media attention this year. One thing is for certain: You want to only invest in a product that you know is effective and the appropriate tool for your water body.

     Here are some things to consider …

What’s Tested and Where?

Long before an aquatic pesticide gets to the market, the product is extensively evaluated by the U.S. EPA. Aquatic herbicide registrations are the most difficult to receive. Many times a compound will have terrestrial uses and the aquatic use is added much later due to the additional (and very costly) regulatory requirements. Prior to registration, the pesticide it is evaluated for:

  • Acute toxicity – These tests drive the precautionary language on the label, including first aid and personal protective equipment. Various exposure routes, such as dermal, oral, inhalation, and ocular, are evaluated in order to properly label the product to protect the applicator.
  • Product chemistry – These tests ensure the product is stable, determine if the product is incompatible with other common chemicals, and establish pH, density, odor and other important physical parameters.
  • Ecological data requirements – The product is evaluated to ensure no harmful effects to nontarget plant and/or animal species will occur. For aquatic pesticides, the test organisms range from the invertebrates that form the basis of the food chain up to fish.

SePRO works with private applicators, University researchers, and state and federal governmental agencies to develop use patterns and label language to carefully target certain weeds or algae while minimizing the risks to nontarget species. This allows users to target each situation selectively with the right product.

SePRO Testing Procedures

In addition to stringent regulatory studies required for EPA and state registrations, SePRO tests all of its products and formulas in the lab and the field, in several different situations. We do this to make sure that the product labeling informs the user when, where and how the treatment should be implemented.

As always, read and follow label directions! And if you have any questions, download our Risk Guide: http://www.sepro.com/documents/Risk_Guide.pdf


Becca Haynie specializes in research and regulatory affairs for SePRO Corporation. She is a wife, a mom, a nature lover, and a bona fide science geek. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University.