Preventing Algae and Biofouling Contamination in Welsh River Systems through an Entirely Bespoke Kayak, Canoe and Paddle Board Cleaning System 

Watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can cause biofouling and algae contamination that can lead to water quality and safety issues and ecological imbalances.

North Wales Wildlife Trust (NWWT) wanted a solution to reduce the risk of contamination and appointed Wheelwash to design and build a watercraft cleaning solution that would ensure cleaner and safer waterways and preserve the health of aquatic ecosystems.



Wheelwash is known for our expertise in designing and manufacturing wheel washing systems primarily used in construction and industrial sectors. Our technology helps prevent the spread of dirt and debris from vehicles, keeping roads clean and safe. However, when approached by NWWT, as a manufacturer with specialist engineers, the team were able to extend their capabilities to address environmental concerns in a different domain.

NWWT commissioned the work on behalf of TNR Outdoors site based in Llangollen. They recognised the need for a bespoke solution to tackle biofouling, the process by which aquatic organisms such as algae, attach themselves to watercraft surfaces, leading to ecological imbalances and potential damage.


Collaboration and Solution Development:

Wheelwash collaborated closely with NWWT to understand the unique requirements of their project. Through a series of consultations, site visits, and discussions with experts, Wheelwash gained valuable insights into the challenges posed by biofouling and the specific needs.

Leveraging our experience in developing bespoke systems, Wheelwash designed and engineered a specialised watercraft cleaning wash bay. The 6m x 3.5m wash bay platform with a 5kw end suction pump and a 5,000ltr header tank was custom designed by Wheelwash Senior Design Engineer, Jack Cunnington.

The system is tailored to the needs of kayaks, paddle boats, and canoes. It incorporates advanced technologies, including high-pressure water jets, to effectively remove algae and other fouling organisms without harming the watercraft or the surrounding ecosystem.

Kayak river biofouling cleaning system

Implementation and Benefits:

Charlie Richards from North Wales National Trust said:

“I am very pleased with how the wash bay is performing. The unit is looking great!”

The implementation of Wheelwash’s innovative cleaning system marked a significant milestone in combating biofouling in river systems. The solution was installed at a strategic entry point to the waterways, ensuring that all watercraft undergoes a thorough cleaning process before entering.


What you should do now:

The partnership between Wheelwash and NWWT resulted in a cutting-edge solution to address biofouling in river systems. Through expertise in designing a bespoke wash bay system, Wheelwash was able to meet the specific requirements of cleaning kayaks, paddle boats, and canoes. The implementation of the system not only ensures a cleaner and safer environment for waterway users but also contributes to the preservation of the rivers’ delicate ecosystems.

Our successful venture into the realm of river system preservation exemplifies our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

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