Recently our team has been working on small scale prototypes of our project and attempting to further develop our solution. From the beginning we have known that we want to find a solution to the human debris collecting in our waterways using an outflow netting system. We want our netting system to be able to collect debris of various sizes and not require constant maintenance and surveillance. Our invention should be able to catch trash without causing flooding and without someone needing to physically check the net every day. This is because many storm drains may not be checked on a regular basis which leads to the obstruction of the outfall pipe and prevents it from functioning efficiently. We decided to put our efforts into this because current outfall netting has to be constantly monitored to see when the nets need to be cleared. Some of these outfall nets have to be emptied using a crane when they are full.
Our plan is to improve the technology behind the current netting systems and make solutions such as these more accessible and affordable to areas like ours where the drains are typically spread out over a large distance, making them more difficult to observe consistently. To accomplish this we have been aiming to make this solution consist of parts that are affordable and easy to replace; most of our supplies come from places like Amazon and are not costly to obtain. By using a tension system our net will have the ability to alert the owner when it is time to empty the net so that our team can collect debris without disturbing the sewer systems intended function.
Once the system reaches the designated tension measured by a pre-programed pressure sensor, there will be an alert activated. The alert system will be Arduino based; the entire system will be battery powered for portability and affordability. Our electronic component will be enclosed in a water-proof case to protect it from the outside elements. The goal is to help the environment by adding to the solution for the man-made litter that harms the earth. We hope to accomplish this in a way that is not harmful to the environment or to the nearby wildlife, and is affordable enough to be replicated easily. We intend for our solution to be deployed in locations that are ill suited for heavy machinery; but we hope to improve the technology behind all outfall pipes to make them easier to implement while requiring little maintenance.