About Hydrogel
Click/toggle questions below to read more about Hydrogel and Diquat.

Why Hydrogel?

Hydrogel is a unique carrier of the herbicide Diquat onto submerged aquatic plants that need to be controlled.

Hydrogel directly targets nuisance weeds by binding the diquat and then attaching the mix to submerged aquatic plants due to it formulation. Effectively reducing Herbicide costs and only treating the unwanted nuisance plants in any desired location with out the need for expensive Mechanical harvesters or Draw down of water bodies.

With virtually no drift of the herbicide from the target plant less herbicide and reduced costs and potential environmental impact.

Diquat Dibromide: Benefits to Aquatic Weed Management

Non-native invasive species of aquatic and wetland plants were introduced to waters of Australia as a result of human activities and are causing detrimental effects on beneficial uses (irrigation, fishing, swimming, boating, native flora and fauna) including declines of indigenous aquatic species and aquatic habitat.

Selective aquatic weed management is critical to sustaining the function of waters of Australia. The use of diquat dibromide (Reglone) as an aquatic herbicide provides significant economic, societal, and environmental benefits due to its unique technical profile and excellent fit within an Integrated Aquatic Weed Management (IAWM) program. Reglone is an important tool for aquatic weed control, providing advantages and opportunities for aquatic managers to achieve weed control goals using an environmentally sustainable approach.

Georges River Liverpool December 2006
Georges River Liverpool March 2007

Georges River Liverpool
			December 2006 Georges River Liverpool March

Before and after Hydrogel was featured on ABC's The New Inventors:

Georges River on 15th January 2009
Georges River on 23rd February 2009

Georges River on 15th January 2009, before Hydrogel was featured on ABC's The New Inventors Georges River on 23rd February 2009

Weed Control

The technical profile of Diquat is key to its success as an aquatic herbicide:

  • Rapid Activity - Important in controlling fast-growing and quickly-spreading invasive weeds.
  • Non-Systemic, Contact Action - Affects only the vegetation it contacts.
  • Rainfastness - Re-spraying emergent or floating species after rainfall is unnecessary.
  • Non-Volatile - Presenting no vapour drift hazard.
  • No Residual Activity - Shortly after application, the active ingredient is deactivated and not biologically active to non-target organisms.
  • Versatile IAWM Tool - Active on a broad number of invasive species.

Beneficial Uses of Water

Following applications of Diquat to control aquatic weeds, water use is as follows:

  • Swimming, fishing, and other recreational activities can be resumed without restrictions.
  • Minimal restriction on use for livestock consumption (1 day) or drinking water (1–3 days).
  • Minimal restriction for use for irrigation (1–3 days for turf & ornamentals; 5 days for food crops).

Options are provided for further reductions in water use restrictions where an approved assay shows that diquat cation residues are less than the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) of 0.02 mg/L.

Integrated Aquatic Management (IAM)

IAM is a whole lake (or water body) management plan for exotic/invasive species that incorporates environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable dimensions. By implementing IAM, beneficial uses and wildlife goals are sustained using latest technology /research and Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Integrated Aquatic Weed Management (IAWM) is a key component of IAM featuring fundamentals of prevention, observation, and intervention. IAWM provides a basis for efficient and effective management of aquatic systems using an integrated approach. Diquat can be used as part of an IAWM program with BMPs to reduce weeds to ecologically, economically, and aesthetically acceptable evels as specified by a management plan for the water system.

Diquat can be used in an integrated approach because it is compatible with cultural, mechanical, biological, and other chemical control methods. For example Diquat may be used:

  1. For spot treatment or partial lake treatments while other methods are used elsewhere.
  2. By alternating with other methods to target specific weeds within a season.
  3. At the same time as ongoing programs to control non-weed invasive species as part of IAM.

Herbicides such as Diquat are often a good choice in an IAWM program because they provide (Getsinger 1998):

  • Predictable efficacy over a defined time period and within a specific target location.
  • Selective control of target vegetation.
  • Well-characterised and minimal risks with respect to human health and the environment.
  • Cost-effectiveness.

Threatened and Endangered Species

Invasive species can replace native plant species on which wildlife may be dependent for food and shelter. Diquat is an important tool for discriminatory management of endangered species’ critical habitat or habitat in proximity to endangered species. The properties of Diquat result in its successful use:

  • Can be applied as a “spot treatment” with little to no off-target movement.
  • Contact action — working only on the actual vegetation it contacts. Does not move from treated vegetation to other areas.
  • Loss of biological activity on contact with sediment.

Environmental Safety

Diquat has been fully evaluated with respect to its safety to applicators, human health, and the environment and was recently re-registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. However, Diquat must be applied to aquatic systems following specific label use directions.

Labelled uses are fully supported by exposure, toxicity, and risk assessments that indicate no unreasonable adverse effects to human health or the environment.

Diquat rapidly dissipates in water due to its high water solubility and highly adsorptive characteristics. Potential exposure is further reduced by microbial degradation in plants and in water, and by the action of sunlight.


  • Rapid dissipation in water systems.
  • Loss of biological activity on contact with sediment.
  • Lack of movement from vicinity of application once adsorbed.
  • Very extensive environmental safety database (>20 species of aquatic animals) and favourable environmental assessments.
  • Comprehensive exposure assessments covering all relevant water bodies in the US show no reason for concern.
  • Overall, the use of Diquat results in substantial benefits to aquatic ecosystems that are adversely impacted by invasive weeds.

Spectrum of Control

Diquat successfully controls over 15 major aquatic weeds including Eurasian Watermilfoil, Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum), Hydrilla, Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce, Salvinia, Egeria (Elodea) Lagarosiphon Ceratophyllum (Hornwort) and Submerged pond weeds.

Available Through Bettersafe

Available through Bettersafe Pest and Weed Management. Please see the Contact Us section of this site for all contact details, including an email contact form.

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