Cleaning & Maintenance
Often we rely on chemicals to help with cleaning (in washing machines, showers, toilets) and maintenance (slipways and boats). However, the chemicals in the products we use frequently end up in our waterways, where they can be harmful to aquatic life.
Most detergents contain phosphates which can cause algal blooms and oxygen depletion and can suffocate aquatic life. Chemicals such as Triclosan, Chlorine Formaldehyde, Potassium Hydroxide and solvents used to clean, disinfect and deodorise are toxic to aquatic life and can disrupt the reproductive cycle of some fish species. In addition, many of these substances can be a risk to human health (for example being toxic when inhaled or corrosive on skin contact), and their production and use also has wider implications influencing air quality and climate change.
Currently there is no specific legislation in place to regulate the use of cleaning agents or any paints and varnishes used on recreational craft in UK coastal waters. However, general provisions under the Water Resources Act 1991 regulate any polluting matter entering controlled waters and this legislation applies to all marine businesses.
For inland waterways the Canal and River Trust Terms and Conditions for Boat Licences requests that phosphate-free detergents are used on board, particularly in washing machines and dishwashers.
FACILITIES & OPERATIONS
- Make your own cleaning products.
- If you have a washing machine, provide detergent-free products. There are many eco-friendly alternatives now on the market to choose from.
- If your grey water sewer empties directly into a water course before being treated, ensure that only environmentally friendly cleaning products are used to avoid polluting rivers and estuaries.
- Visit our Green Blue Product Directory to find more environmentally friendly cleaning products.