CU Boulder’s Sustainable Weed Management Solution - Weedtechnics

CU Boulder’s Sustainable Weed Management Solution

Jeremy Winer

As an expert in weed management within both the landscape and agriculture sectors, I am thrilled to shed light on CU Boulder’s pioneering efforts in adopting sustainable weed control practices. At the forefront of this movement is the university’s collaboration with Weedtechnics, an Australian innovator in steam-based weed control technology.

The urgency to transition away from traditional herbicides, particularly glyphosate-based products like Roundup, stems from growing concerns about their harmful effects on human health and the environment. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization, sparking widespread alarm and prompting a shift towards safer alternatives.CU Boulder university steam weeding solution for the last 8 years.

Enter steam weed control, a game-changing solution that CU Boulder has embraced wholeheartedly. Weedtechnics’ steam machines offer a compelling alternative to glyphosate-based herbicides, addressing the pressing need for eco-friendly weed management practices. Here’s why institutions across North America are taking notice:

Chemical-Free Approach:

With glyphosate’s carcinogenic properties raising red flags, there’s a pressing need for herbicide alternatives that prioritize safety. Weedtechnics’ steam machines provide a chemical-free solution, eliminating the risks associated with traditional herbicides while safeguarding soil health and human well-being.

Efficiency and Efficacy:

CU Boulder’s adoption of steam weed control isn’t just about sustainability—it’s about effectiveness. By harnessing the power of superheated steam, Weedtechnics’ machines deliver targeted weed eradication without the need for manual labor or repeated applications. This efficiency translates to cost savings and enhanced operational productivity for campuses seeking to maintain pristine landscapes.

Weather-Resilient Technology:

Unlike chemical herbicides that are susceptible to weather-related limitations, steam weed control offers unparalleled versatility. Whether rain or shine, wind or snow, Weedtechnics’ steam machines can operate under any conditions, ensuring consistent weed management without interruptions or delays.

Long-Term Sustainability:

Beyond immediate weed eradication, steam weed control contributes to long-term sustainability by depleting weed seed banks and promoting healthier landscapes over time. CU Boulder’s investment in Weedtechnics’ steam machines isn’t just a short-term fix—it’s a strategic commitment to building greener, more resilient environments for future generations.

CU Boulder’s recent acquisition of a third Weedtechnics steam machine in 2023 underscores their dedication to sustainability and sets the stage for further expansion. As the university continues to lead by example, other institutions are taking note, recognizing the immense potential of steam weed control in transforming their own landscaping practices.

In conclusion, the transition away from glyphosate-based herbicides towards steam weed control represents a watershed moment in weed management, driven by a shared commitment to safety, sustainability, and environmental preservation. As an expert in the field, I applaud CU Boulder’s visionary leadership and urge others to follow suit in embracing steam-based solutions for a healthier, more resilient future.

Check out the video of CU Boulder speaking about steam weed control and management below

Frequently asked questions

Will the pressure of the water destroy soil structure or leave a mess on adjacent surfaces?

No damage to soil structure. No mess. Satusteam©, our unique mixture of saturated steam and boiling water is delivered at just 60 psi. It thoroughly coats the vegetation and does not disturb your mulch; compact your soil or spray residue onto adjacent surfaces, such as walls and pathways.

Are earthworms and other soil organisms affected?

Our saturated steam provides rapid penetration and transfer of heat to any vegetation, which the applicator heads pass over. It is non-selective on any organisms. A benefit of our economical use of saturated steam and boiling water is that it does not penetrate more than about a ¼”, 5mm, into the soil. This has a great effect on the crowns of weed species but the little effect and no lasting impact on either the roots of your perennial crops, trees, vines etc or your important soil organisms. Earthworms tend to be found lower down in the soil profile unless there are very wet surface conditions. Our observation is that the destroyed weeds quickly become detritus providing food for a rapid repopulation of soil organisms which helps builds a humus layer in your soil.


To kill most plant pathogens and beneficial microbes such as Rhizobium bacteria and mycorrhizal populations the soil temperature must be “raised and held at between 60 – 80ºC for 30 minutes.” ( KA Hendreck & N. Black (1994 Revised Edition) Growing Media for Ornamental Plants and Turf. Randwick: University of NSW Press.) With our SW Satusteam©, weed control on average only the top ¼”, 5mm of the soil directly under the head is heated for only a couple of minutes.

Is there a portable domestic unit?

The Green Ninja Stealth- electric and diesel model is the smallest machine. It’s 160kg and measures 101cm wide x 104cm high x 69cm deep – (352.7 lbs – 39.5” x 41” x 27”)  so it’s not tiny, but it’s deadly to weeds. It is on wheels, though we suggest keeping your Ninja in it’s chariot and making use of a 90-100 metre hose – so about an 180m radius around your ute or trailer.


Technology would have to change dramatically for us to be able to pack a similar punch into a much smaller machine. Maybe one day.

Few more organisations who are using Weedtechnics' Satusteam technology steam weeding machines in USA

steam weeding in Schools, Universities and Municipalities
About the Author : Jeremy Winer

Jeremy Winer has 30 years of practical experience in implementing integrated holistic approach to organic weed management across urban landscapes, recreational parklands and wetlands. He currently runs Weedtechnics specialising in providing chemical reduction and non-toxic weed control programs to municipalities across Australia. He has developed, patented, manufactured, and commercialised the Steamwand method of creating saturated steam for vegetation control.