Assessment of the effects of rentex remedial treatment on some wood pole inhabitant micro-organisms
D C R Sinclair, G M Smith, A Bruce, H J Staines
The effects of a remedial ground-line treatment using Rentex, a stabilised paste containing a mixture of fluoride and dichromate salts, on the micro-organisms inhabiting a sample of some 160 creosoted, on-line, electricity distribution poles, have been investigated as part of an appraisal of the efficacy of this remedial treatment. Half of the poles were treated and the other half used as controls alternately along the line. Wood cores were removed from these poles immediately before treatment and at a series of 4 time periods up to 16 months after treatment. The uncreosoted sections of these cores adjacent to the heartwood were incubated on nutrient agar plates to identify the presence of basidiomycetes, bacteria and mould organisms. The low number of isolations of basidiomycetes in particular, the main decay fungus in creosoted poles Neolentinus lepidus, precludes meaningful conclusions with respect to these organisms. However, comparisons between the control and treated poles with respect to numbers of micro-organism free poles indicates a treatment effect superimposed on a seasonal population effect. Over the 16 month period of study the remedial treatment produced a consistent significant reduction in numbers of isolated organisms. This result confirms expectations from studies of the distribution of preservative elements in poles remedially treated with Rentex and the toxicity of this formulation against moulds.