Richland City Council Hears About Milfoil Problem In The Columbia River - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland City Council Hears About Milfoil Problem In The Columbia River

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Some people believe that milfoil is a growing problem in the Columbia River.

WSU employees and a handful of students are looking at ways to fight it.

Tuesday night plant scientist Dr. Steven Link presented the Richland City Council with his findings and information about ways the reduce the amount of milfoil in the rivers.

Milfoil grows like a weed in water and spreads very quickly.  In August, a 22-year-old man died in the Columbia River while swimming at night near the Blue Bridge and authorities think milfoil might have played a role in his death.

Link said he thinks milfoil in the river is a public safety hazard.  He said, "Do people want to swim in it? Do they want to boat in it?  Fish in it?  No, they would not like to have that problem around.  It's an issue."

Link said it is a problem that many communities around the United States deal with.

He said there are chemicals it can be treated with, screens and barriers that can be placed on it.  He said there is even the option of laying concrete over it.

He said you can never get rid of it completely but believes our local waters would be more desirable if the plant wasn't so prevalent.

He will continue to study the water and look at ways of reducing the problem.  Tuesday's presentation gave city council more information on the problem.