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Composting System to Control Water Hyacinth

A Nonpoint Source Program (NPS) project to test and demonstrate large-scale composting to control invasive water hyacinth.


Overabundance of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is sometimes a threat to the ecosystem of Spring Lake at the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Water hyacinth can clog waterways, lower dissolved oxygen levels, and crowd out native species.

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Project Description

The River Systems Institute at Texas State University developed a five-acre composting operation that used water hyacinth harvested from Spring Lake together with poultry litter and other feedstocks. Scientific examination of the resulting compost showed that water hyacinth seeds and other propagules (tissue that can sprout new plants) are destroyed when compost piles are maintained at or above 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

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For More Information

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or e-mail us at

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