Photo by Mason Callejas

Work crews with the Maricopa Flood Control District will be working in the Santa Rosa Wash next week to remove overgrowth and mitigate possible flood inducing obstructions in the washes.

Starting Monday, the MFCD will neutralize and remove the invasive salt cedar from a stretch of the Santa Rosa Wash located between Honeycutt and Smith-Enke roads, according to District Manager David Alley.

The salt cedar, when left unchecked, grows rapidly and can produced thick brush that can impede the flow of water in channels and washes. During the monsoon season, this means an increased chance of flooding.

To eliminate the salt cedar, crews will first spray herbicide on the plants. Once the chemical has worked its magic, they will remove the bushy stalks and root masses.

The exceptionally thirsty salt cedar was first introduced to the area as a form of erosion control in the early 1900s and quickly took over the barren landscape of the southwest, often killing off other plant species as it sucked up what little ground water they would compete for.

This is an ongoing battle for the MFCD which maintains most of the washes and floodplain around the city of Maricopa.