*Below is a weed control system review written by Theis Consulting, to look at the pros and cons of the most popular weed control systems available to commercial and residential lake property owners.

What is the best aquatic weed removal device for you?

There are three competitive lake weed control devices on the market today: BeachGroomer, Crary Weedroller, and Lakemaid. Below, are some important characteristics to keep in mind when purchasing an aquatic weed control device to remove sediment and weeds from your lake bottom.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Effectiveness
  • Assembly
  • Installation
  • Reliability and repair cost
  • Safety
  • Optional equipment
  • Warranty
  • Cost

BeachGroomer

BeachGroomer System

General Description – The BeachGroomer is a free­standing, portable weed control device. The unit weighs about 25 pounds and is equipped with wheels and a handle and is able to be pushed or pulled into desired places. The BeachGroomer features two 7­foot arms which revolve 360 degrees at about two revolutions per minute. The arms ride about 12” off the bottom. Attached to the arms are galvanized chains which drag along the bottom cleaning a 16’ circle area. The unit is powered by water pressure delivered from an irrigation pump of at least 1 HP. The irrigation pump sits on the land, away from the water’s’ edge. The unit is equipped with two 50’ sections of hose for a total of 100’ which attaches to the pump and allows the user to move their Groomer anywhere within 100’ of the pump.

Effectiveness – The BeachGroomer does a superior job of eliminating moderate weed growth and exposing the lake bed. It is most effective when installed in the spring or early summer as heavy weed growth can stop the arms.

Assembly and Installation – The BeachGroomer is UPS or Spee­Dee deliverable and quick to assemble (about 20 minutes). The few parts are color coded. Once assembled, it is merely a matter of wheeling the BeachGroomer into the water and turning on the pump.

Reliability and Repair Considerations – The BeachGroomer is very simple in its design. There is one moving part: the center pivot swivel that allows the arms to rotate 360 degrees. If the part needs replacing it simply threads on and off.

Safety – The BeachGroomer is powered by water pressure delivered by an irrigation pump. The pump sits on land away from the water so electricity is not an issue. *Like any product read owner’s manual regarding safe use.

Optional Equipment – The BeachGroomer offers a Fountain Attachment essentially creating a portable fountain. The fountain can spray a blossom pattern up to 25 feet high or add the Frothy Nozzle to aid in aeration. The BeachGroomer also has a recreational purpose with the Carousel feature (view Carousel Video). Other options include the Adjustable Fire Hose Nozzle which attaches to the 100 feet of BeachGroomer hose which delivers a powerful stream of water used for power washing anything within the range of the hose.

Warranty – Two years residential or commercial.

Summary – The BeachGroomer is the simplest design with one moving part making it very reliable and inexpensive to maintain. It is very easy to use and makes easy work of maintaining a weedless beach. Portability allows the BeachGroomer to clean under docks, lifts, right up to the shoreline (BeachGroomer can even function out of the water). The BeachGroomer can be used in any depth of water as the arms are always just a foot off the bottom. With the arms under the water, it is out of harm’s way in high waves.

Crary Weedroller

General Description – The Weedroller is an automatic lake weed control system that is designed to attach to a dock. It features three 7’ rollers (21’) that roll along the lake bottom. The unit pivots in an arc motion that is adjustable, up to a maximum of 270 degrees.

Effectiveness – The Weedroller, once installed, is very effective and has a good track record. It has the ability to uproot well­established weed growth during the initial treatment.

Assembly and Installation – There are approximately 45 steps in preparing the Weedroller for operation. (See Weedroller website “Product Manual”). Installation is a (minimum) two person task. Removing the Weedroller requires more effort as the rollers are filled with water and quite heavy. Since it is attached to your dock, you will also need to remove it for winter storage if you are in a cold climate.

Reliability and Repair Considerations – The Weedroller has a good track record and is relatively reliable. However, there are many components to the Weedroller both electrical and mechanical*, all of which have the potential of failing to result in what could be costly service calls from the dealer. Costs of such repairs, unless under warranty could be considerable. (* Smart switch, motor, sensors, controller, driveshaft, gearbox).

Safety – The Weedroller is powered by an electrical motor requiring electricity. The Weedroller motor is typically located on the dock very near water. *Following the manufacturers recommended safety guidelines is very important.

Optional Equipment – Tripod Mount, Additional Depth Kit needed when operating in water over 4 1⁄2 feet. 7­Foot Roller Sections to increase roller reach to a maximum 35’. Mud Kit used for muddy bottoms.

Warranty – One year commercial. Two ­year residential.

Cost – $ 3,595.00

Summary – Very effective at removing weeds and exposing the lakebed (sand, gravel, clay, etc.). Reliable, however, repairs could be costly. Installing and removing Weedroller is laborious, requires at least two people, and makes for a lot of work to move it to weed a secondary area of the beach. Electricity at the water is a safety consideration. LAKEMAID (LAKE SWEEPER)

Lakemaid (Lake Sweeper)

lakemaid

General Description – Designed to attach to a dock or pier the Lakemaid features two 6­foot floating arms (12 feet total). Suspended from the arms are rakes which drag across the lake bottom. Like the Weedroller, the Lakemaid pivots at the dock and moves in the arc motion. The degree of arc is adjustable up to 270 degrees.

Effectiveness – According to the website the Lakemaid eliminates weeds in about a weeks’ time. If there is existing weed growth the height of the rakes must be adjusted so they brush across the top of the weeds and then lowered accordingly.

Assembly and Installation – It is unclear as to how long it takes to assemble, but once assembled the Lakemaid takes about 10 minutes to install. It can be installed by one person.

Reliability and Repair Considerations – The Lakemaid is powered by a submerged pump which runs off of 115­volt household current. The reliability depends on the pump, the timer, and the valve that opens and closes. Another feature of the Lakemaid worthy of damage consideration is the floating arm – which during high winds and wave action may become damaged. It is uncertain whether this would be covered under warranty. Information on repair costs of such events is not known.

Safety – Like the Weedroller, the Lakemaid runs off electricity in close proximity to water. The submerged pump is under the water at the dock. *Following Lakemaid safety requirements is important. Optional Equipment – The standard Lakemaid comes with two 6­foot arms (12’ total reach). Additional 6’ arms are available. Spray Nozzle for washing down a dock, etc.

Warranty – One year residential or commercial.

Cost – $ 1,545.00

Summary – Effective at removing weed growth and exposing lakebed. However, if significant weed growth happens the rakes must be adjusted a number of times for desired results. Also keep in mind, the rake lag behind the arms does not allow the rakes to drag the bottom under the arms in the shallow water. Since the arms float on the surface of the water, there is a risk of damage due to violent wind and waves. Another consideration is the floating arms of the Lakemaid collecting floating loose weeds which typically collect on the dock post, boat lifts, etc. during the summer.

Read the conclusion to find out which is the winner, here: The Lake Weed Control Blog