Pesticides used to deal with floating pennywort on Three Mills Lock

The request was successful.

Dear British Waterways,

I would like to know what pesticides are being used or are proposed for use in tackling the problem of floating pennywort in Three Mills Lock on the River Lee, Bow Back Rivers, Tower Hamlets and if they are being used on parts of the river accessible to the public.

Yours faithfully,
Beck Robertson

Chris Gray,

Dear Ms Robertson

Thank you for your request for information dated 11^th March 2010.

I understand that you have requested the following information:

I would like to know what pesticides are being used or are proposed for
use in tackling the problem of floating pennywort in Three Mills Lock on
the River Lee, Bow Back Rivers, Tower Hamlets and if they are being used
on parts of the river accessible to the public.

I am pleased to inform you that once we have confirmed the extent to which
the regulations permit the release of the information which you have
requested a response will be sent within a 20 working day timescale from
the date we received your request.

Yours Sincerely

Chris Gray

Information Officer

Chris Gray,

Dear Ms Robertson

Further to my correspondence with you of 11^th March 2010 I am responding
to your request for all documents regarding:

I would like to know what pesticides are being used or are proposed for
use in tackling the problem of floating pennywort in Three Mills Lock on
the River Lee, Bow Back Rivers, Tower Hamlets and if they are being used
on parts of the river accessible to the public.

British Waterways London only uses the herbicide `Roundup Pro Biactive',
which is mixed with an adjuvant called Topfilm when we are treating
floating pennywort. Herbicide will only be applied to the target species
and depending on the location of these plants may be used in areas which
are accessible to the public.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are the approving
body for all pesticides and impose strict control on the use of herbicides
in aquatic areas. Consequently Roundup Pro Biactive is one of the few
herbicides approved for use and British Waterways have specifically
selected this product as it presents the least ecotoxic profile.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup Pro Biactive, controls weeds
by blocking the plant's enzyme system. These enzymes do not occur in
humans, animals, birds or fish consequently the World Health Organisation
rates glyphosate, as 'practically non-toxic', the lowest classification
available.

Roundup Pro Biactive is not a hazardous substance as defined by COSHH,
when used in accordance with the label, and it does not carry a hazard
symbol. There is no need to restrict public access after spraying with
Roundup Pro Biactive, and correctly treated water may be used for
irrigation.

Roundup Pro Biactive is quickly broken down in soil or sediment into
harmless natural substances. It is non-residual, and does not harm
animals, birds, fish, insects and other wildlife. Any herbicide which
enters the water is rapidly broken down by microbes; however the method of
application restricts the amount of herbicide that would enter the water
as it is directed at the floating pennywort leaf area. Research has shown
that the amount of glyphosate found in slow-flowing water one hour after
treatment, and in still water 12 hours after treatment, is barely
detectable and there is no significant change in micro invertebrates over
the subsequent year.

The concentration at which we apply the product is 50ml of Roundup Pro
Biactive diluted in 2.5 litres of water; this means that there are 36
grammes of active ingredient (glyphosate) per application which is dosed
at a maximum rate of 6 litres per hectare. In addition to this `TopFilm'
the only approved adjuvant (sticking agent) is mixed with the dilute
herbicide at a rate of 1000ml per hectare making the herbicide up to 60%
more efficient when treating floating pennywort.

British Waterways have annual consent from the Environment Agency to use
this product at these concentrations for the purpose of controlling
floating pennywort; the operatives used to carry out the work are all
qualified as are our contractors.

If we haven't reasonably met your expectations in relation to a request
for information or you believe we may not have acted in accordance with
the above legislation you should write in the first instance to Caroline
Killeavy Head of Customer Relations, 64 Clarendon Road, Watford, Herts
WD17 1DA outlining your concerns and asking for a review to be
undertaken. Your correspondence will be acknowledged and a review of your
case will be undertaken. The review is usually undertaken by a director
and you should receive a response within 15 working days.

Should you remain unsatisfied by the response you receive you are able to
contact the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF [1]www.ico.gov.uk/Global/contact_us.aspx.

Yours Sincerely

Chris Gray

Information Officer

-

Dear Ms Robertson

Thank you for your request for information dated 11^th March 2010.

I understand that you have requested the following information:

I would like to know what pesticides are being used or are proposed for
use in tackling the problem of floating pennywort in Three Mills Lock on
the River Lee, Bow Back Rivers, Tower Hamlets and if they are being used
on parts of the river accessible to the public.

I am pleased to inform you that once we have confirmed the extent to which
the regulations permit the release of the information which you have
requested a response will be sent within a 20 working day timescale from
the date we received your request.

Yours Sincerely

Chris Gray

Information Officer

References

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1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/Global/contact_us....

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