The Town of Hillsborough has begun a treatment called Sonar Genesis to fight the spread of Hydrilla, an invasive water plant found in the Eno River.

Hydrilla creates thick mats that coat the surface of the water, impeding on recreational activities and the health of fish and wildlife. According to Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens, the plant’s effects have been palpable.

“When you walk across the river, walk across a bridge you can see it fill up the water,” says Stevens. “It really is a mess.”

The decision to use Sonar Genesis comes after a two-year pilot program which saw remarkable success in fighting Hydrilla.

The treatment is being used at concentrations well below limits set by the EPA and is not harmful to humans, fish or other wildlife.

“Environment advocates said this is the thing to do so I feel like we’ve looked at this from a safety issue,” says Stevens. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Stevens feels confident that the treatment will bring similar success to the last time it was used.

“When they did this a couple years ago it really did cut down on the Hydrilla and we’re ready to do it again,” says Stevens.

The North Carolina Division of Water Management will be overseeing the treatment, which will last through September.