Nampa couple on poisonous weeds: 'It's just unsettling'

Nampa, Idaho (KBOI) - A Nampa couple is worried poisonous plants in a nearby irrigation ditch could be putting people and pets at risk in their neighborhood.

Cindy and Harold Mauck recognized poisonous hemlock growing in the irrigation canal across from their home. They see neighborhood children playing in the area and notice pets have no problem wandering into the water.

"When we know this is down here, we worry about the cat and the dog," Mauck said.

After realizing the weed could hurt someone, Mauck called Nampa city to have someone take care of the problem. The couple said they were transferred to a number of different departments, and said no one called them back.

"It's just unsettling that they have taken so long and we are not sure if they will come out and do it," Mauck said after a week had passed.

KBOI contacted the county and city and found out weed control for the ditch on Aaron Street is pretty unique. Typically, an irrigation company or the county is responsible for these canals, but not for this canal. The Aaron Street ditch is actually owned by the city on Nampa, but they only own half of it.

"From the middle of the ditch over to Aaron Street is right of way for the city of Nampa," Sharla Arledge, the spokeswoman for the city told KBOI.

The city said the other half of the ditch belongs to property owners. Records show Nampa follows the recommended schedule by spraying for weeds on its half. It happens twice a year in October and April. City leaders say the process is expensive an not needed more than that.

"We have to be wise with the tax dollars and do what is our responsibility," Arledge said.

With the next spray three months away,the Mauck family will have to wait it out. The couple explained taking care of the problem themselves is not a safe option.

"{We're}helpless. And we can't get in there and do it ourselves because it's poisonous."