Skimmer Comes to Town Lake in Austin, Texas

Contact: Franklin C. Houston, P.E., Division Manager
Stormwater Management Division, Drainage Utility

UMI TrashCat™ Trash Skimmer operating on the Town Lake in Austin, Texas.

UMI TrashCat™ Trash Skimmer operating on the Town Lake in Austin, Texas.

Now appearing on Town Lake: The Skimmer! Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, the Skimmer is a TrashCat™ model whose mechanical “arms” can scoop up trash, such as Styrofoam cups, that are floating on the surface of Town Lake. The Skimmer can even gather up items as large as tree limbs and old tires that are as much as 18 inches below the surface.

The Skimmer can run in shallow water, allowing it to collect litter near the shoreline. The craft makes little noise; nearby residents won’t even know when it is operating on Town Lake.

The City of Austin’s Drainage Utility recently purchased the TrashCat™ to remove the debris that is carried into Town Lake via the creeks which empty into the lake. Removal of such pollutants is necessary to protect the quality of the water and preserve the natural beauty of the lake.

After the Skimmer retrieves objects from the water, the trash is then conveyed to a hopper that is emptied into a truck and transported to a disposal site.

Purchased from United Marine International, the TrashCat™ began regular operations on November 12th. It will be working almost daily on Town Lake to keep the lake free of debris and trash.

Source: Austin City Connection – City of Austin