Cleaning and Maintenance

Trying to keep slipways clear of weed and algal growth can be a constant headache and very often we rely on chemicals to clear the slippery carpet and prevent it from growing back. However the chemicals in these products end up in the water and many are toxic to aquatic life.

Another way that cleaning chemicals can enter the water is through outlet pipes- when grey water from showers and sinks does not flow into mains sewerage but is deposited straight into the watercourse. Any chemicals used for cleaning such as washing up liquids, shower gels, shampoos and other detergents can have very damaging effects on biodiversity. Phosphates found in detergents can lead to nutrient enrichment and algal blooms which can cause oxygen depletion and may result in suffocation of aquatic life. Degreasers can dry the natural oils that fish need for their gills to take in oxygen, whilst the chemicals found in some cleaning products can disrupt the reproductive cycle of fish.

If your business has a septic tank then you will be aware of the importance of keeping the biological balance intact. A well maintained septic tank has a mix of so called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria with the good outnumbering the bad. The tank finds its own natural balance which neutralises odours and breaks down solids. However the chemicals used for cleaning and washing that disappear down the plug hole can affect this natural balance causing the tank to smell and the delicate ecosystem to break down.