Giant Wheel Purifies Water in Baltimore

A 50-foot-long water wheel in Baltimore sucks out 50,000 pounds of river waste every day.
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A 50-foot-long water wheel in Baltimore sucks out 50,000 pounds of river waste every day.
Baltimore water wheel

Baltimore water wheel

Baltimore has found an innovative way to remove water waste and make their Inner Harbor look a bit cleaner. A 50-foot-long water wheel has been placed upriver. As it turns with the flow from Jones Falls, the wheel uses two long booms and lifts debris into a conveyor belt. The trash is then deposited into a dumpster which sits on a separate platform.

The water wheel was designed by John Kellett and his company Clearwater Mills. The wheel can remove up to 50,000 pounds of trash each day.

"The machine sits stationary in the mouth of the river," Kellett told Fast Company. "The wheel powers a conveyor, which lifts the trash from the river. It gets all its power from the wheel."

There are times when the current isn't strong enough for the wheel to do its job. So Kellett equipped it with solar-powered pumps which help to get the wheel spinning again.

The wheel cost a total of $750,000, two thirds of which was contributed by the Maryland Port Administration.