Scientists hope that people will be able to swim in Baltimore’s harbor 5 years after this device is installed.
Pollution in the world’s waterways is one of the most serious challenges that our species is facing, and creative solutions are going to be needed in order to solve this problem. People from all over the world have recognized this issue and have been working hard to come up with their own ideas to clean trash from oceans and other bodies of water.
One device currently being used in Baltimore, Maryland may be something that is eventually employed on a larger scale. The device is a solar powered water wheel that is connected to a conveyor belt. The wheel works by lifting trash and debris out of the water using a ‘debris raking system’, which transfers the collected items onto a conveyer belt and then into a large dumpster. Although the device is powered by the water that flows through it, the device is also hooked up to a solar generator so it requires no outside source of energy.
Between May 16 and June 16, the wheel processed 46 metric tons of trash in Baltimore’s harbor, but it is estimated that if it was placed in waters where the trash density was much higher, it could process up to 23 tons every day.’
The Water Wheel was developed by two scientists named John Kellett of Clearwater Mills. They have been developing the technology since 2008, and have been through a long process of trial and error to make sure that everything was correct. The first Water Wheel, which was designed to look like an actual mill house, spent three years in trials, before being removed in 2011 because it could not keep up with the level of trash that was in the Harbor. The new Water Wheel was installed this May and in it’s first major trial it removed 50,000 lbs of trash from the harbor.
Some people estimate that this could make the Baltimore Harbor swimable in 5 years, however, the area still has a serious problem with chemical pollution that needs to be addressed as well.