Maidenhead waterways treated with dye to prevent weed growth

Those walking near the waterways this week may notice a blue tinge to the water after volunteers treated the channel with a non-toxic dye.

It is being used as part of a trial to reduce weed growth as the weather warms up.

A build-up of dense blanket weed in the Chapel Arches basin last year threatened to smother other plant life, including desirable oxygenating plants.

Dozens of Maidenhead Waterways (MW) volunteers worked from boats and the banks to undertake a manual weed clearance, removing 68 bags (two tonnes) of excess weed by hand in this section.

The use of dye to control blanket weed is approved by the Environment Agency and works by filtering out red light, to slow the process of photosynthesis as weeds grow. It is harmless to wildlife.

It has been used by Maidenhead Sailing Club and others to reduce weed growth.

MW’s clearance co-ordinator Ian Caird said: “This is a trial to see if the use of dye in a slow moving water body will help reduce excessive weed growth, limiting the need for difficult and potentially costly manual clearance.”

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