Newport Beach City Manager Update:

Water Wheel Trash Interceptor

By Guest Contributor Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager – July 17, 2023

Source: Newport Beach Independent Newport Beach City Manager Update: Water Wheel Trash Interceptor

Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

I am pleased to report that a long-awaited water quality project, the Newport Bay Trash Interceptor, was approved this week by the Newport Beach City Council.

On Tuesday, July 11, the City Council awarded a $3.9 million construction contract to Brea-based Jilk Heavy Construction, Inc. We expect to break ground this fall and begin operations in 2024.

The Trash Interceptor is a sustainably powered, floating trash and debris collection system that will be built in the San Diego Creek between the Jamboree Road Bridge and MacArthur Boulevard Bridge, upstream from the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

The Trash Interceptor will greatly reduce the amount of trash and debris that washes into the bay, harbor and ocean areas adjacent to Balboa Peninsula from upstream inland communities of the Newport Bay watershed.

The Newport Bay watershed spans 154 square miles, encompassing the cities of Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Newport Beach, that includes a vast drainage network of storm drains, rivers, creeks and canals.

The Trash Interceptor, modeled after a similar system in Baltimore Harbor, will sit on a floating platform that rises and falls with the tide. The platform will be secured to the creek bottom by guide piles. The platform will hold a 14-foot wheel that spins using power from the creek’s current or solar panels to move a conveyor belt.

Trash floating downriver will be collected in four steps, as shown in the drawing above:

  1. A boom system directs floating trash toward the Interceptor.
  2. A spinning rake moves trash from the boom area to the conveyor belt.
  3. Trash is deposited from the conveyor belt into a collection container.
  4. When full, the container is moved by a short rail system to be transferred to a standard trash truck.

The system is expected to reduce the amount of waste reaching the Upper Newport Bay by 80 percent (from an estimated 100 to 300 tons a year). It will supplement other public and private efforts already in place – such as trash booms, storm drain collection systems, and floating skimmers – that protect sensitive aquatic environments.

I would like to thank our funding partners for making this project possible. They include the State of California, Help Your Harbor/Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Protection Council, and the Orange County Transportation Authority. I also want to thank Senator David Min and Assembly Member Diane Dixon for requesting and advocating for the State funding, and the members of the City’s Water Quality/Coastal Tidelands Committee for their ongoing support and advocacy of the project.

I look forward to bringing you further updates as we begin construction this fall.

Source: Newport Beach Independent Newport Beach City Manager Update: Water Wheel Trash Interceptor

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The fires in Maui and Hurricane Idalia in Florida serve as recent reminders that disasters can strike at any time. Throughout September, which has been designated as National Preparedness Month, the City of Newport Beach will highlight some of our emergency preparedness tools and practices, along with educational resources for residents to become better prepared.

If you are new to emergency planning, or could use a refresher, a great place to start is the “Newport Beach Ready” Emergency Preparedness Guide produced by our Fire Department. The guide contains critical information on water and food storage, building an emergency kit, evacuation checklists, basic first aid, animal preparedness, and tips on what to do in specific events.

Newport Beach City Council members, joined by state and county elected representatives, held a ceremonial groundbreaking event on Friday, Sept. 15 to kick off construction of the Newport Bay Trash Interceptor, a sustainably powered system to collect floating trash before it enters the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, Newport Harbor and beaches.

Newport Harbor Pirates Cove

Newport Beach, known for its pristine beaches and picturesque harbors, has long been committed to preserving its natural resources. To further increase the City’s ability to monitor and maintain water quality in Newport Harbor, the City’s Harbor Department recently deployed two state-of-the-art water quality sensing buoys, or DataPods, in the harbor.

The Newport Bay Conservancy is hosting Coastal Cleanup Day at Upper Newport Bay on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Volunteers will meet at a dozen different mini-cleanup day sites around the 11-mile bay including the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Aquatic Center, Big Canyon, Vista Point, Jamboree Bridge, etc. Exact meeting location will be announced and sent to everyone (group leaders) prior to Sept. 21.

Join Nancy Gardner as she chats with former Harbor Commission Chair Bill Kenney and Senior Civil Engineer John Kappeler about the upcoming Newport Beach water wheel project.