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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


The Wheels of Progress are Turning

In Fort Worth, home to more than 100 miles of trails along the beautiful Trinity River and its tributaries, waterwheels are making a positive impact on the sustainable and environmentally friendly community. Everyone wants access to clean water and the ability to enjoy recreational activities without coming into contact with trash or stormwater pollution, and waterwheels are a simple solution to cleaner waterways, removing tons of trash pollution in a short period of time.

ONE waterwheel can remove more than 50,000 pounds of solid waste per day— about the size of two-and-a-half garbage trucks—or filling an 18-cubic-yard dumpster in less than two hours. Partners in this initiative are the Trinity River Water District, Streams & Valleys, Inc. and Keep Fort Worth Beautiful. Two potential sites have been selected on the Trinity River: the Purcey Street Outfall and the Henderson Street Bridge.

The waterwheel and an attached conveyer belt is mounted on a floating platform where containment booms funnel floating trash and debris to a conveyer. The wheel, powered by energy from the river current and solar-powered pumps, causes the conveyer to lift trash and deposit it into a detachable dumpster that is then hauled by a service vessel to a transfer point for disposal. The entire structure is covered to protect the equipment and prevent trash from being blown by the wind. It also houses the photovoltaic (solar) panels. The entire assembly measures approximately 52 feet long and 24 feet wide, with a 14-foot-diameter, three-foot-wide wheel.

Water wheels not only collect trash and litter from rivers and streams, they improve the aesthetics and the usability of waterways, improve the aquatic ecosystems for fish and wildlife, use sustainable solar power, provide an opportunities to educate the public about the problem of pollution, inspire people to become a part of the solution to end litter, provide drinking water for Fort Worth and client cities, support efforts for economic development, contribute to positive community appeal, appearance and overall quality of life for recreation.


For more information and to donate to acquisition of the Water Wheels, email [email protected].