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Old 04 October 2011, 16:37   #1
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copper sulphate for control of moss on slipways

hi guys

Does anyone have any experience of using copper sulphate for control of moss on slipways, steps at piers etc?

Thks
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Old 04 October 2011, 17:02   #2
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Copper sulfate is HIGHLY toxic to fish. In this country you can't apply in to water without alot of rules to follow. Mechanical removal or pressure washing the worst of it away followed by spot treatments of a zinc moss control product would be a "friendlier" approach. Zinc is toxic too, but not nearly to the same degree.
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Old 04 October 2011, 20:29   #3
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As Jack says, mechanical removal is the friendliest.

A park here that uses a concrete boat ramp as a divers ingress/egress has used a spray application of bleach every now and then. If you don't apply it too heavy, it breaks down quickly to salt water, so will only affect the immediate area.

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Old 05 October 2011, 03:03   #4
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We have the task of controlling marine growth on the slipway at The Camber Dock in Old Portsmouth. Regular pressure washing is by far the most effective way to remove weed etc and has a minimal impact on the enviroment. We also treat the washed surface with a product called Ecoslip, which is a very expensive "marine growth inhibitor" and I have to say is pretty ineffectual.

I have seen bleach used in the past (before we became responsible for the slipway) and it always seemed to work very well - not sure on the legality of using it these days though???
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Old 05 October 2011, 13:00   #5
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We use a petrol garden strimmer with heavy duty line, works well on concrete slip.
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Old 05 October 2011, 15:01   #6
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When I first saw this thread a few days ago I was going to post with the same remark that copper sulphate was pretty deadly aquatically, but because you mentioned moss, I wondered if you were confusing it with Iron Sulphate, or Ferrous Sulphate which is what gardeners used to use, to kill moss in lawns etc. Im not so sure it would be as toxic, due to irons properties and also given the amount of iron work there is afloat, albeit not generators of sulphate, mostly oxide ! (ie rust), but in a tidal area, I cant see any chemical really having as good an effect as physical removal.
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Old 05 October 2011, 21:28   #7
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The advantage of chemicals (assuming you don't nuke everything around) is that it kills the existing growth, and the spores. Mechanical removal gets rid of existing, but repopulation tends to be a little quicker, I think.

Some of that depends on how often putting the effort in is practical; if, say, every 3 months or 6 months (or whatever your growth rate is) is acceptable, then mechanical removal will be fine.

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Old 05 October 2011, 22:01   #8
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Originally Posted by Bigmuz7 View Post
When I first saw this thread a few days ago I was going to post with the same remark that copper sulphate was pretty deadly aquatically, but because you mentioned moss, I wondered if you were confusing it with Iron Sulphate, or Ferrous Sulphate which is what gardeners used to use, to kill moss in lawns etc. Im not so sure it would be as toxic, due to irons properties and also given the amount of iron work there is afloat, albeit not generators of sulphate, mostly oxide ! (ie rust), but in a tidal area, I cant see any chemical really having as good an effect as physical removal.
Copper sulphate used as an aquatic algaecide but you have to be fairly precise about application rates etc. In this country it requires a pesticide applicators license etc.
Copper(II) sulfate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Over here in the States, iron sulphate is used on lawns and zinc sulphate is used on roofs for control of actual moss. Both are registered herbicides but available to homeowners.

I assumed the "moss" was a slimey algae which wouldn't have a "root" (rhizoid) like an actual moss, but maybe I was wrong? I guess it would be good to know the actual species of plant(s) you're trying to control.
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Old 06 October 2011, 11:09   #9
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We did at one time use some sort of acid that got rid of the weed think now we just pressure wash it ,,,
mind to say a mile or so upstream there or were some of the largest ship yards ,steel and chemical making plants in europe,,though they have cleaned their acts up recently .
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Old 06 October 2011, 11:12   #10
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We did at one time use some sort of acid that got rid of the weed think now we just pressure wash it ,,,
Compared to what I launch on, this is already immaculate! Are those land rovers of yours struggling on that?
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Old 06 October 2011, 11:24   #11
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Compared to what I launch on, this is already immaculate! Are those land rovers of yours struggling on that?
He then goes over it with a chammy leather to finish it off ,,
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Old 10 October 2011, 08:40   #12
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hi guys

Does anyone have any experience of using copper sulphate for control of moss on slipways, steps at piers etc?

Thks
I've seen it used on slipways up until a few years ago when it was banned by the council. It's very effective but really toxic and nothing grows around a slip where it's used and the environment seems to take quite a few years to recover - if ever- from prolonged use.

The council use pressure washing now - nowhere near as effective at keeping the slips slime free but a lot kinder to the environment and I expect to the people who swim and fish from the slipway.
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Old 10 October 2011, 08:59   #13
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I've just done my Powerboat 2 course at SWAC (Active Nation at Southampton) and they use to have the local council use the rotary brushes on street cleaners every two weeks for their slipways. They now have their own little tractor with brush.

This seems to do the job quite well.
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Old 24 January 2012, 19:54   #14
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I own a company that cleans slipways (we have contracts with Princess Yachts PLC, Mayflower Marina and Plymouth City Council) www.cleancoastservices.co.uk How we clean is as follows ... Firstly we pick up and rubbish/weed by hand. Secondly we pressurewash with powerful pressurewashers. Thirdly we rinse thouroghly. Fourthly we spray (using normal backpack garden sprayers) Chlorine, the same stuff you use in swimming pools. This is very efective on the slipway and does no harm at all to surrounding areas (we have tested this greatly!) The chlorine comes in crystel form, mix 3 cup fulls to a bucket of water and stir until completly dissolved then simply spray a coating onto the slipway. You will see a diference in about 5 mins. The chlorine will extend the need to pressurewash the slipway again up to 4 weeks and that's in the summer when the weed grows the fastest.
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