Challenge accepted: HRSD team engineers contraption to get trash out of the water
Garbage is constantly washing to the water’s edge of the Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s Newport News plant.
It comes mostly from the James River, ending up at the Boat Harbor Treatment Plant at the southern tip of the city — the north end of the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. The staff decided to do something about it,
Being an organization full of engineers meant not just picking up trash, but designing a hulking machine to do so.
Enter “Baleen Screens” — the trash collecting contraption an internal team recently designed and put together for $10,000. The name alludes to the natural fibers used by baleen whales to feed on krill, as well as being related to the local marine ecosystem, said Chris Wilson, HRSD’s chief of process engineering and research.