Steam Weeding

EMRC and non-chemical weed control

The EMRC has been investigating alternative weed control methods and non-chemical weed control as part of best practice natural resource and catchment management. In 2015, EMRC held a Working with Weeds Seminar with the Weeds Network about the negative effects of chemicals in Perth. A number of alternative weed control techniques were showcased including a steam weeding machine. The seminar was well attended with over 80 guests representing landcare groups, local governments, state government, environmental contractors and consultants present on the day.

The introduction of steam to Perth's Eastern Region

Following on from the Weeds Seminar, EMRC was successful in receiving a grant from the Department of Parks and Wildlife - Rivers and Estuaries Division to purchase a steam weeding machine and to provide training for people to hire out the machine. EMRC purchased the Steamwand SW700 in July of 2015 and facilitated the training in April 2016 with the help of Jeremy Winer from Weedtechnics. The training sessions were attended by over 30 people from a range of different backgrounds who work with weeds in natural areas or parks and garden areas.

Jeremy gave a comprehensive introduction to alternative weed control including the eight hidden costs of weed control, designing a chemical-free weed control schedule and some techniques to maximise efficiency and reduce time. The training took place at a number of locations across Perth to showcase different situations where the steam weeding machine could be used. These included environmentally sensitive wetland and creekline areas, small bushland reserves, landscaped parks and gardens and verges. The training sites are currently being monitored for the effectiveness of steam control of weeds.

The machine is now available for hire for local governments and community groups to undertake steam trials in their areas. To view the hire agreement and rates, please download the form below.

For further information, please contact Jaya.Vaughan@emrc.org.au or phone 08 9424 2245.

Hire Of Plant And Equipment Agreement - Steam Weed Equipment

Steaming to success

In 2016, EMRC successfully received with a grant from the Western Australian Government's State NRM Office to undertake an alternative weed management trial and workshop. The project was aptly named Steaming to Success. The trial will monitor the effect of steam, pine oil, pelargonic acid and salt and vinegar solution on a range of different weeds at a site in the Shire of Mundaring. Holistic weed management techniques will also be monitored for weed suppression effectiveness including competitive planting and mulching. Results from the trial will be collated in a report and published on the EMRC website. EMRC is partnering with the Friends of the Railway Heritage Trail community group on this project.

A workshop on Friday 5 May 2017 provided an opportunity to share information relating to the progress of the trial and discuss other alternative weed control techniques that are being utilised across Perth. The workshop included a bus tour to visit a number of alternative weed management demonstration sites displaying alternative weed management success stories. Community groups, government departments and other environmental industry stakeholders attended the workshop to further increase awareness about non-chemical weed control.