Following its recent launch, new biocide Enclean has made a successful introduction into the amenity sector following positive reports from early adopters, confirms agronomist Robert Bone, amenity specialist with Agrovista.
Robert, who has more than 35 years of industry experience, first saw the biocide in its development phase 18 months ago and was impressed with both its speed of action in eradicating algae and its positive effect on dealing with other green deposits that often build up on hard surfaces.
“I followed Enclean’s progress across a number of trials during 2019 and although it’s designed primarily to remove algae, trials have consistently shown the biocide’s main active ingredient, Nonanoic acid, also has a secondary effect on breaking down other green deposits that can accumulate on hard surfaces.
“Enclean is plant derived, safe to use, and it has no environmental hazard classification. It’s fast acting and, once applied, it quickly degrades into natural elements leaving behind no harmful residue,” he confirms.
Since the launch in March, Robert has been working with his customer base of ground maintenance contractors, county councils and local authorities conducting operator training courses to help them better understand the new biocide, its efficacy and level of control under different operating conditions and on different surfaces such as pavements, the outer surfaces of greenhouses, wooden decking and fence panels.
Despite the restrictions on face-to-face meetings due to COVID-19 he believes that Enclean has rapidly gained wide acceptance amongst his clients due to the success of the training courses and product demonstrations.
“Application advice is a key part of the agronomic service I provide to customers and the training courses are a good way of promoting best practice. Although there are a number of established biocides able to deal with algae, Enclean’s very low dilution requirement of 1L of product to 14L of water offering users over 550m2 of coverage is a potential game changer allowing the operator to apply the product using a small knapsack sprayer.
“Often, when there is a build up of algae, it occurs in narrow pathways that have limited access to sunlight or wind. Many biocides tend to require large water volumes and that can be a serious problem if the large tank on an ATV or UTV mounted sprayer can’t access the area you need to treat. If you’re working in a relatively remote place, far away from a water source, another potential issue is accessing significant volumes of water to be able to do the job. Using a biocide that requires a relatively small amount of water from a knapsack sprayer can be a major advantage,” he explains.
Colin Simpson, estimating and purchasing manager with Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Limited, also sees a positive future for Enclean following extensive product trials this year across a number of the company’s school maintenance contracts.
“We’re one of the largest horticultural and ground maintenance service providers in North Yorkshire and, until recently, we had been struggling to find a really effective hard surface biocide. With many schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year it had caused a build up of algae on pathways around many school buildings due to the simple fact that people weren’t using them as often.
“One of the key considerations when we apply any chemical is the safety aspect. Not only the safety of our operator, but the health and safety of children using the pathways and making sure we don’t harm the environment. Enclean’s very low environmental hazard classification combined with a high level of operator safety ticked both boxes.
“When we look at contracts where we are spraying large areas, time is also a factor so the fact that Enclean does not foam in the tank meaning it can be cleaned out quickly following use was another positive. Based on our experience it is best to apply the product in dry, sunny conditions. Try to find a 2-3 day window of dry weather after application if possible. In the right conditions surfaces were completely clear within 14-21 days of application and there was no requirement for a follow up spray,” he confirms.
Simon Race, director of Sports Turf Services Limited – a family run business based near York, also found that tank cleaning post application was both time consuming and problematic when using biocides that required large water volumes.
“We used to use Qualgex but, although it performed well enough, it foamed in the tank leaving a residue that required significant washing out of both the tank and pipes after the product was applied. We wanted something that was both quicker to mix and easier to apply using smaller quantities of water. Enclean was the obvious answer.
“As long as you apply at the advised rate in dry conditions you should see the correct visual signs of the algae and other green deposits beginning to turn brown and decay after just 2-3 days. Whilst 1 application will generally clear most surfaces we did find that when dealing with black algae engrained into older stone surfaces a follow up application will often be required to complete the job,” he concludes.