MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Just eight weeks after it was installed, the city of Mobile’s litter trap was busted by heavy rains.
“We know the trap works, and it does work,” Bill Darby of DESMI/AFTI, the New York based company that sold the city the trap, told Local 15.
The city paid more than $30,000 for the system, which was installed in December 2012 at Eslava Creek to help alleviate Mobile’s trash-choked waterways. After Monday’s failure, the city will have to completely re-install the system.
“The reason it got twisted up is because, evidently, we weren’t prepared for the volume of water,” Darby said.
DESMI/AFTI has never installed this type of trap in the South before.
Darby said the plan is to bring in larger galvanized steel pilings and drive them deeper into the creek bed.
“The pilings will be vibrated down about 20 feet now,” Darby said. “It should hold up to any water pressure that should come up.”
Darby told Local 15 his company will pay for the new pilings, but the city will pay for installation costs.
Dog River Clearwater Revival, the environmental group that pushed for the city to get a litter trap, is losing confidence.
“The proof is in the pudding,” Kim Sweet of DRCR said. “Because of this massive failure so early on, we are not very optimistic about this actually being a permanent solution.”
The DRCR had recommended the city buy a much more expensive litter trap, to the tune of more than $100,000. But the city opted for DESMI/AFTI’s cheaper option.
“We had really hoped, as did the city, this would be an economical solution to the pollution,” Sweet said. “It is not working.”
Sweet said she is still holding out hope DESMI/AFTI’s tweaks to the system end up working.
“I would like to see this actually functioning the way it is supposed to function,” Sweet said. “The way the manufacturer said it would function.”