Vetiver Phytoremediation

Vetiver phytoremediation raft system
Pontoons moved to new position, aligning them to prevailing winds.

July/August Update


  • Height increase seen in all three Buffer Zones, avg. plant height over 2 meters!
  • Zone 1 doing well, could benefit from some transplanting to fill in the small corner area that has since filled in with native plants. I estimate about 15-20 slips needed to fill it in.
  • Zone 2 completely filled in, recent transplants doing well.
  • Recently transplanted vetiver line in the new area, is also doing well.  I have applied sheet mulching to the plants vulnerable to being shaded out.
  • Pontoons have been repeatedly taken by wind to opposite areas of pond.  So I tried a new way of tying them which may prevent this:  Instead of retying them across the pond from fence post to the post over by the water pump–I tied each set of pontoons separately to the posts of Buffer Zone 3.  This way they’ll resist the wind and stay put at pond inlet, where we want them.
  • Pontoons without flotation pool noodles have become more submerged.

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June 12, 2017

Project Documentation:  Aerial Photography , Buffer Zones 1-3, Vetiver Grass Pontoons/

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June 10, 2017

vetiver phytoremediation
Recycled pond water spilled by pump flows from Buffer Zone 3 and back into large pond. If I hadn’t seen the pump cause this water flow, I may have assumed it was rainwater flowing from the canal and through zone 3. The blue circle denotes where sample B3 was taken from initially, back in March.

June 9, 2017

Pontoon Update/   Pontoons re-positioned in center of pond.  Seems high winds loosened the ropes and rafts had been pushed up onto shore again.

vetiver phytoremediation raft
Notice flotation tubes keeping raft bottom from touching the mud shore.

One key difference I noted this time however, was the flotation tubes served to prevent the Vetiver from rooting so quickly and firmly in the mud.  The other rafts without extra flotation (pool noodles) were much more difficult to dislodge from the mud.

Vetiver phytoremediation rafts
The difference in vetiver growth between rafts with the added flotation and those without was remarkable.

I imagine the vetiver crowns in the rafts on the right have been drier overall, with conditions more conducive to stronger growth.

Another positive development:  the root systems protected by the wire cage showed extremely promising results!  Very strong root development!

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Fish seem to gravitate toward the shade and protection of the pontoons:


Fingerlings were swimming all around and under the rafts.

vetiver phytoremediation
Stonger growth seen on two rafts with added flotation.

May 25th, 2017

Report for specialized testing of samples B2 & B3 has been forwarded.

Unfortunately water Sample B1 was not sent to lab as there was no water flowing through Buffer zones 1 or 2, see pic below:

Area in Buffer Zone 2 where we took the B1 water Sample for the first batch of testing. This time around it was dry.

May 4th 2017

Hello Roley, below are the samples I can deliver by tomorrow if necessary:

Sample containers to be filled for specialized testing

April 2017
Morning Roley, welcome to your updates page.  This is where you’ll find photo updates to the Vetiver project site at the SARA Facility. (As you know this page is protected by your password.)

Above, Vetiver Buffer Zone 1
Vetiver phytoremediation project
Vetiver Buffer Zone 2
Vetiver phytoremediation project
Plant sample C1 was dug from high leachate flow area
Vetiver phytoremediation project
Plant Sample C1, high leachate flow area
Plant sample C1:  Less branching noted in root structure. In very dense clay with nearly black sludge.

Above, root system detail. Sample C1.
Above, plant sample C2, dug from side slope. Soil lighter with more organic matter.  Plant showing well-developed root system with more branching.
Plant sample C2
Root system detail. Sample C2
Take half. Leave half.
Root & leaf samples ready for Soil lab.
Root detail. Sample C2
Vetiver sample C3 taken from buffer zone 3 just next to pond inlet
Plant  sample C3
Vetiver grass sample C3.
Plant sample C3
Root system detail. Plant C3

Side note: several snakes encountered in the project areas.

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