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Cardiff Harbour Authority, UK

The regeneration of Cardiff Bay created a complementary development of housing, leisure, business and commerce - however they had a problem.

Debris, rubbish and invasive aquatic weed was entering the bay from two rivers (approx 500 hectres water space). Cardiff Harbour Authority launched a competitive tender for a range of equipment to undertake a wide range of environmental responsibilities.

Liverpool Water Witch provided a successful solution.


Keep the bay clear of natural/man-made debris:

  • Trees, branches, large floating mats of aquatic weeds (Canadian pond weed and Milfoil) submerged plants rooted in sediment, reed beds and the occasional animal carcases
  • Algae scum on the water surface
  • Household furniture, telegraph poles, gas bottles, trolleys, tyres - and even the odd motor vehicle!


Equipment provided by Liverpool Water Witch included:

  • Mk. 3 Water Witch workboat
  • 4 Skipper barge units - with a capacity of 24m3 providing effecient storage and transfer facilities for debris
  • Open top and tank skips - for storage and and transfer of solid and liquid waste
  • 200m solid bouyancy debris boom
  • MOP Oil recovery skimmer
  • Fire fighting/salvage pump - 41 litres per second capacity
  • Weed cutter
  • Weed ripper - for removing bottom-rooted plants
  • Silt bucket
  • Log grapple
  • Crane attachment

As with all Water Witch Workboats, the craft was built to Lloyds Register of Shipping Classification standards.


  • During an intial 12 months over 892 tonnes (3,408m3) of litter and debris was removed by one Mk. 3 Water Witch boat.
  • An average of 10 skip loads of waste removed each week
  • Salvage pump enabled emergency assistance to be given to a sinking vessel, and a small craft on fire
  • In periods of heavy rains, the boat recovered approximately 8 skip loads (48m3) per day
  • Specialist equipment attached to the boat made complicated pollutant removal possible. Algae scum that accumulated on the waters surface (especially undesirable near-by residential developments) was removed using the general purpose basket.


The cardiff harbour Authority had initially investigated buying seperate vessels to deal with the range of functions required:

  • Debris collection boat
  • Oil spill response unit
  • Removal of aquatic weed equipment
  • Algae filtration system

Water Witch met all these demands with one versatile workboat.

Customer Feedback:

"The Water Witch has made a significant impact on the amout of floating debris that collects around the edge of the bay. It is a valuable tool in the bid to keep Cardiff Bay clean and to make our environment more attractive and welcoming to visitors."
John Coll, Manager of Cardiff Harbour Mermaid Quay Shopping and Tourist Centre

"We are delighted with the impact the Water Witch has already had on the bay environment."
Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Russell Goodway