Cleaning Slipways

Advice on the requirements for cleaning slipways
 

It is common to need to clean a slipway to remove fouling and algae. However, you should be aware that what you use to clean a slipway is regulated. 

A marine licence is not required from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for cleaning a slipway, although you may still require an Environmental Permit to discharge into surface or groundwater.

Any biocidal products containing active substances with the intention of destroying algae require Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approval. Any such product approved by HSE for use in and around water is accepted by the Environment Agency so long as the product is used in accordance with the conditions on the label. The MMO provide information on this here

You can check HSE approvals here, although this does not list whether the product has been approved for use in water. Any supplier of a slipway cleaning product should be able to provide you with their certificate from HSE including whether in water use has been approved.

Following conversations with HSE we are led to believe that Natural Solutions Algae Remover (HSE9515) and Algae Remover Concentrate (HSE9815) are HSE approved biocides for use on harbour steps, piers and slipways.  

HSE have indicated to us that Clearway (HSE9252) and Wet and Forget (HSE9411) are not authorised for use on slipways, and that they have no record of authorisation for APT Algae Free Algae remover or Oleonix Marine Algae Cleaner.  

Please be aware that we have no feedback or experience of these products, and are merely providing information as to their approval status with HSE. If you have any further information or feedback on using a slipway cleaner, please contact us at environment@rya.org.uk