San Antonio, Texas – The Alamo Heights and San Antonio area has been dealing with garbage filled waterways for far too long and now they are finally doing something about it! In order to find a solution to the waste problem, both cities along with the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) contributed $10,000 each. The $30,000 was then matched by the Jack and Valerie Guenther Foundation.
The $60,000 raised will fund a study to uncover the best way to effectively remove the trash in the Olmos Basin.
“The city of Alamo Heights is grateful for the investment in working for any improvement for a neglected regional issue, which is not just an Alamo Heights problem,” said Alamo Heights Public Works Director Patrick Sullivan.
The study focused on the 30 square miles from Northwest San Antonio to the Olmos Dam. This area has 9 sub watersheds and includes over 1,200 storm drains. Waterways are not the only thing that will be studied. The U.S. 281 highway produces a great deal of trash that eventually ends up floating down the nearby river.
The engineering firm that conducted the study analyzed the best waste removal practices in 12 specific locations in the San Antonio area. Many potential options were considered to solve the trash problem. However only one stood out from the rest, a Bandalong.
A Bandalong is known as the “Australian solution to a global problem” and is basically a trash trap that floats along waterways. This contraption is completely silent and can operate for days without any type of assistance. It is extremely effectively at trapping the trash without impeding any water flow and never endangers any marine or plant life.
Although the Bandalong originated in the “Land Down Under” over 15 years ago, it has just recently made it across the pond to help many United States waterways become free of trash. The Bandalong has been successfully utilized in Little Rock, Arkansas. Their Bandalong is able to be completely lifted out of the water and taken directly to the landfill.
Many similar products such as Baltimore water wheel can credit the Bandalong for their creation. It seems like every waterway should have some type of trash trap floating through it.
But though the study has been completed and a solution to the trash problem has been discovered, a great deal of work is still to be done.
“One next step will be to seek grants or other funding toward purchase of the structural pollution control device,” said SARA project manager Karen Bishop. “The timeline is contingent upon grant deadlines and funding timelines and securing grant matches.”
The many potential advantages of using a Bandalong has made it an attractive option for many other groups working on environmental projects in the San Antonio area. It is very likely that the necessary funds will be raised if enough interested parties contribute and invest in the long term value of using a Bandalong.