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Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters


*Important: See Reference Guide Beforehand

No single herbicide is appropriate for controlling all invasive aquatic plants (or nuisance growths of native aquatic plants), in all situations. A herbicide may perform differently depending on the waterbody, its use, the time of year—or even the time of day. Therefore, aquatic plant managers must have a thorough understanding of how each herbicide acts in Florida aquatic systems. The following parameters are evaluated when considering this herbicide to manage aquatic plants in a specific waterbody. Each parameter is linked to an explanation and examples are provided to demonstrate their relevance to developing comprehensive aquatic plant management strategies.

Table A: Herbicide Use Patterns for Sodium Percarbonate

Target PlantScientific NameUse PatternCompatible Herbicides
Lyngbya Microseira wollei Evaluation Apply in a program with chelated copper – do not tank mix with copper

Table B: Water Uses and Functions

Water Use ParametersManagement Considerations
Downstream Uses and Needs
  • No issues related to this tool
Fish and Wildlife Mgmt.  
Vegetation planting
  • No issues related to this tool
Forage and prey
  • No issues related to this tool
  • Rainbow trout LC50, 48 hours > 40 mg/L
  • 96-hour LC50 = 26 ppm
Non-game wildlife
  • No issues related to this tool
Endangered species
  • No issues related to this tool
  • Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate is not expected to be toxic to birds
Flood Control
  • No issues related to this tool
Navigation and Access
  • No issues related to this tool
  • No irrigation restrictions
Livestock Consumption
  • No livestock consumption restrictions
Potable Water
  • No drinking water restrictions
  • No issues related to this tool
  • No fishing restrictions – does not bioaccumulate in fish
  • No issues related to this tool
  • No swimming restrictions

Table C: Herbicide, Waterbody, Plant, and Climate Parameters

Herbicide ParametersManagement Considerations
Herbicide Rate
  • 1-25 ppm
  • 1 ppm for low density algae control
  • 25 ppm for extreme density
Breakdown / Inactivation
  • Rapidly dissociates into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate
    • Hydrogen peroxide is further degraded to water and oxygen
    • Sodium carbonate is neutralized to sodium bicarbonate
    • Half-life for this process is approximately eight hours – less than I day
  • Not sensitive to microbial degradation
  • Sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide do not adsorb to sediment
  • Not sensitive to photolysis
  • Primary dissociation process of sodium percarbonate into peroxide
  • Dissipation of little concern due to rapid dissociation
  • Available in liquid formulation
  • Available in solid formulation
Mechanism of Action
  • Unclassified in WSSA Resistance Grouping
    • Cell membrane oxidizer
Mode of Action  
  • Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate is transformed into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate in the presence of water
  • Hydrogen peroxide is the active component and works by exogenously oxidizing organic matter
  • Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes critical cellular components of target organism and kills it
    • For example: in lipid peroxidation, oxygen radicals react with unsaturated fatty acids in cell membrane phospholipids, sequentially damaging them and killing the cell in a chain reaction
  • Oxygen radicals also react with other fatty acids, nucleic acids, and proteins in a similar manner
Plant Growth Regulator
  • Not used as a plant growth regulator
Herbicide resistance
  • Oxidizing agent – resistance is not an issue
Waterbody ParametersManagement Considerations
Water depth
  • Important to know water depth to calculate appropriate dose
Water volume
  • Accurate bathymetry is essential to calculate appropriate concentration
Water movement
  • Not an issue with this tool
Water chemistry  
Dissolved oxygen (DO)
  • Applications should be made early in the day
  • For heavy blooms or large waterbodies, treat no more than ½ of the waterbody
    • Wait at least two days to treat the remainder of the waterbody
pH, alkalinity, hardness
  • May dissociate faster in higher pH waters
Nutrient content
  • May be an issue when controlling large areas of algae
Water transparency
  • No issues related to this tool
Sediment characteristics  
  • Flocculent, organic sediments accelerate breakdown
Potential for re-suspension
  • Flocculent or suspended organic particles accelerate breakdown
Plant Physiology ParametersManagement Considerations
Plant origin / growth potential
  • Used mostly for planktonic algae control
    • Not a management priority in FWC programs
  • Not used for native plant control in FWC funded programs
  • Not used for non-native plant control in FWC funded programs

  • Sodium percarbonate was evaluated for lyngbya (Microseira wollei) control
    • Not applied on an operational basis
Plant growth stage (target/non-target)
  • Apply early in the season before blooms occur
Plant susceptibility (target/non-target)
  • Planktonic algae control is not a priority of the FWC; therefore,
    • FWC has not permitted or funded the operational use of hydrogen peroxide algaecides
  • Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic, and lack organelles for photosynthesis
    • Appear to be more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than green algae or diatoms
Potential for regrowth (target/non-target)
  • No issues related to this tool in FWC- funded programs
Climate ParametersManagement Considerations
Weather Daily

  • Manufacturer recommends applying earl in morning


  • Apply before intense blooms develop
Light intensity
  • Intense sunlight enhances product activity
Water temperature
  • Warmer water enhances product activity

Table D: Other Parameters

ParameterManagement Considerations
  • Several sodium percarbonate products are available
  • Not used in FWC aquatic plant management programs
Anticipated Control Amount  
  • Control confined to area treated – dissipation is minimal
  • Requires frequent monitoring and application for planktonic algae control
Time to Achieve Control
  • Wait several hours before applying other herbicide like copper
  • 1-2-days for control
  • Broadcast granular formulations with a mechanical spreader or by hand, directly on the water
  • Make a solution with granular formulation
    • Agitate slurry constantly
    • Spray onto water surface from shore or a properly equipped boat, or
    • Inject solution into the water via a piping system
  • Place granular formulation in burlap bags and drag through the water by means of a boat
    • Use granular application rates
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