The Middle Level Commissioners undertake aquatic weed clearance along watercourses under their control during the warmer summer and early autumn months when weed growth is most prolific, using their fleet of small work boats.
The weed clearance work is essential to provide statutory navigation of approximately 100 miles of watercourses within the Middle Level system.
Weed cutting also facilitates the efficient and effective conveyance of water flows along channels within the Commissioners’ system during rainfall events.
The Commissioners’ weed cutting boats are fitted with a hydraulic arm to which hydraulically powered reciprocating knife blade sections are attached. The cutting arm can be operated either above or below the waterline, depending of the type of weed requiring to be cut.
The weed ‘lifter boats’ work in attendance to the cutting boat. The ‘lifters’ gather up the floating cut weed and aquatic vegetation and place it on adjacent bank sides, where it is left to decompose.
Below is a short video demonstrating the Commissioners’ new weed cutting boat, ‘Celeste’, operating with rear mounted, trailing knives, cutting along the river bed. Note the two collecting boats working in tandem behind Celeste to clear the cut weeds and vegetation. This is deposited along the bank sides to decompose.