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Fort Worth, Texas News

Fort Worth Advances Trinity River Waterwheel Initiative

Photo courtesy of City of Fort Worth

Fort Worth continues its efforts to advance the Trinity River Waterwheel Initiative, aiming to remove floating litter and debris from the river and promote environmental stewardship. This innovative partnership includes the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant Regional Water District, Streams & Valleys Inc., and various sponsoring partners. The goal is to reduce litter and debris in the Trinity River by piloting a floating, waterwheel-powered trash interceptor.

Importance of the Initiative

Controlling litter at its source is essential to prevent environmental pollution. Community efforts to reduce litter before it reaches storm drains and waterways are crucial. Installing a waterwheel in the Trinity River will not only help keep the river clean but also raise awareness about anti-littering behaviors and the importance of water resource management. It will serve as an educational tool and a visual reminder of the community’s commitment to combating litter and promoting responsible watershed management.

Location and Functionality

The waterwheel will be located at the Clear Fork Trinity River. It is designed to be effective regardless of the river’s water levels, showing the greatest benefits during and after medium to high rainfall events, which often flush litter and debris into the river from stormwater drainage systems.

How the Waterwheel Works

The waterwheel uses hydropower or solar power, containment booms, and a conveyor belt system to collect and remove trash and debris from the river’s surface. It can capture up to 50,000 pounds of litter and debris daily, prevent debris from continuing downstream, utilize reusable refuse containers, and improve both the aesthetics and usability of waterways. Additionally, it will enhance aquatic ecosystems for fish and wildlife and educate the community about environmental stewardship.

Once constructed, Fort Worth will host the sixth waterwheel in the world and the first in Texas, showcasing an inland river application. Similar waterwheels have been successfully implemented in Baltimore Harbor and Panama City, Panama.

Funding Status

To date, approximately $1,340,700 has been secured for the project, with an additional half-million dollars still needed to complete it.

The City of Fort Worth and project partners are receiving sponsorship donations. To learn more or to donate, individuals, groups or businesses can go online.

Interested parties can also contact Streams & Valley Inc. to sponsor the waterwheel project through a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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