Bayou-Vac: Group is adding a new vacuum tank to its Buffalo Bayou cleaning operation

Houston, Texas– Officials at a local nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the Buffalo Bayou and keeping the waterway healthy announced on Aug. 3 the addition of a new vacuum-powered boat to their cleaning arsenal.

The new custom vehicle, dubbed the Bayou-Vac, has been in development for 20 years as part of its Clean, according to an Aug. 2 press release from the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, which runs a garbage collection operation along a 14-mile stretch of the bayou & Green Program.

Equipped with a 16-foot vacuum hose, the Bayou-Vac will serve as the partnership’s second vacuum tank.

“The Bayou-Vac is a game changer for our program,” Robby Robinson, BBP’s field operations manager, said in a statement. “Once we’re up and running, we expect to gain a full working day for each discharge, making us twice as efficient at clearing debris from the bayou.”

Garbage and debris accumulate in Buffalo Bayou as a result of rainstorms causing stormwater runoff, the partnership said. Without the partnership’s work, trash risks making its way down the bayou into Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

With its current vacuum boat, BBP is able to remove about 2,000 cubic meters of garbage annually, which officials say is equivalent to the garbage of about 167 commercial dump trucks.

The new boat will come with several upgrades, according to the press release. Most notable is the ability for workers to swap out detachable dumpsters that can also be attached to land dumpers. Previously, workers used a land-based vacuum to dump debris on land once a dumpster was full.

A new hydraulic arm also allows workers to maneuver the vacuum cleaner without much effort while allowing better access to garbage further up the bayou’s shoreline.

In a statement, BBP President Anne Olson thanked board member Mike Garver for his role in designing the vehicle. She also thanked the Kinder Foundation and donors Sis and Hasty Johnson for funding.

“We also thank the Harris County Flood Control District and Port Houston for their longstanding support of BBP’s Clean & Green program,” Olson said.

Correction: The Kinder Foundation and philanthropists Sis and Hasty Johnson both made donations to help fund the Bayou-Vac, but the Johnsons and Foundation are unaffiliated and separate donors.

This article is courtesy of our ABC13 partners at Community Impact Newspapers. Bayou-Vac: Group is adding a new vacuum tank to its Buffalo Bayou cleaning operation

Dais Johnston

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