Cleaning of slipways and harbour infrastructure

The use of chemicals to clean algae and other deposits off slipways and marine structures can cause pollution.



You are responsible to ensure that any chemical used:

  • is the correct product for the activity
  • is used in accordance with the instructions on the label
  • has been approved for the activity that is being undertaken

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the authority responsible for the approval of these chemicals if they are biocidal products containing active substances with the intention of destroying the algae. If this is the case for the chemical you are considering, and it has been approved for this use by the HSE, then the Environment Agency accepts the use of that product in accordance with the conditions on the label. This is because the HSE have tested the product and are satisfied that its use should not result in any unacceptable risks to the environment.

Only products with approval from HSE for that specific use should therefore be used in the slipway environment. Biocidal products that have not been approved, or are being used in scenarios that the approval doesn’t cover, may result in environmental harm.

Contact information

Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team

0300 123 1032

Published 6 May 2015