Weed control on pavements requires much attention. Strong weed development between paving stones has negative effects on functionality, safety and durability of pavements. Much green also causes irritation among residents who are annoyed by the pollution of their living environment.
Spraying chemical herbicides is the cheapest weed control method. Unfortunately this causes unwanted side-effects in case of negligent use under unfavourable conditions. The most important side-effect is the runoff of herbicides to surface water. This is has adverse effects on plant and animal life but also on the production of drinking water.
Work on the development of a sustainable weed management system for pavements (SWEEP) has been conducted since 2002. Extensive field tests have shown that weed control under SWEEP guidelines is effective and that when herbicides are used runoff to surface water is reduced. The quality criteria for surface water are not exceeded. This means that the risks regarding drinking water production are reduced as well. Key of the system are a number of practical guidelines that enable those responsible for weed control organisation and realisation to define and agree clear arrangements as regards boundary conditions, prevention, use of methods and products, and registration of herbicide use.
The SWEEP method includes three lists (shortlist 0, 1 and 2) with information and practical guidelines.