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Remove trash from drain water. The city of Kwinana in Australia is experimenting with an incredibly simple and effective method, which is giving excellent results.
The system, installed last summer, is called StormX and it is really simple: it consists of a net placed at the outlet of the drain pipe that helps capture small and large debris and protect the environment from contamination.
Pipes drain water from residential areas to natural areas, and the trash that is often transported in them can spread into the environment, not to mention that when heavy rains occur, the trash is washed away by drainage systems. Hence the need to find a solution.
The city authorities first installed two networks to see if the system worked. The results were amazing. Over the course of a few weeks, the nets managed to capture more than 360 kg of garbage.
At this point, it was decided to install more of these "waste traps" throughout the city to minimize pollution and negative effects on wildlife and the environment.
Although the installation and manufacture of these nets cost about 6,000 euros each, the system is quite convenient because it saves money on other fronts. For example, the city reduced expenses for manual removal of waste from sewer pipes.
The nets were installed in 750mm and 450mm diameter concrete drainage holes and cleaned three times a week. No animal was captured since the beginning of the experimental operation. The Kwinana authorities plan to install new networks at three additional locations.
But what happens when the networks are full of garbage?
Once saturated, they are lifted and the waste is loaded onto special trucks and transported to sorting centers. There, the material is separated into recyclable and non-recyclable, and then treated. The nets are reinserted into the drainage pipes and continue to do their job.
This new filtration system proves once again that the little things are important, and that focusing on them can have a positive impact on the environment. It is clear that correct waste collection would avoid the biggest problem, but unfortunately we know that a lot of waste is dispersed, with very serious consequences.