Savings from the new contract which covers grass cutting, maintenance of hedges and trees, cleaning of facilities and the collection of floating litter from urban waterways will be invested in other important maintenance works, the trust said.
As well as towpaths, moorings and lock sides the contract will see grass cut on public areas, picnic sites and reservoir embankments up to six times a year - the equivalent of 242 football pitches each time.
The contract has been set up to be more efficient, replacing several regional contracts with more consistent standards across the network.
The contract includes measures for giving customers more detailed information on progress, for example, information on vegetation works on the trust’s website.
The contract is for an initial five year period with the option of an additional two – a longer agreement aimed at encouraging greater capital investment, innovation and improvement in services.
Richard Jowett, environmental services director for OCS Fountains, said: "Fountains has developed a comprehensive understanding of the Canal & River Trust’s waterways, their users and the important historical, and ecologically significant, assets Canal & River Trust staff are entrusted with managing and protecting.
"Our bespoke facilities management and geospatial information system (GIS), built by Fountains specifically for this contract, will provide Canal & River Trust staff, and waterway users, with an unparalleled visibility of our planned and delivered work programme, in support of providing an excellent and transparent service.