Bureau of Reclamation Banner

Affordable Self-Cleaning Trash Rack

Project ID: 3107
Principal Investigator: Tom Gill
Research Topic: Supporting Irrigation Districts
Priority Area Assignments: 2011 (Climate Adaptation), 2012 (Climate Adaptation)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2011, 2012 and 2013
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can a self-cleaning, low-head, low-energy trashrack system be developed that can effectively remove debris from irrigation canal systems?

Can this system be widely applied and be cost effective for irrigation districts throughout the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation)?

Whether or not such a self-cleaning trashrack system is available is a question frequently received by Reclamation personnel during site visits to irrigation districts. Numerous districts have trashrack sites where floating debris accumulation can require hourly attention whenever even a modest breeze begins to mobilize tumbleweeds and other forms of floating debris. Frequently, trashrack sites where debris is a problem are not within convenient proximity to electrical power service for alternating current electricity to be an affordable consideration.

This study will develop and test a self-cleaning trashrack system that effectively clears debris from the trashrack and can be solar powered. The development of such a system will reduce time, labor, and money invested in canal maintenance. Canal operation will also be improved by reducing head differentials across trashrack structures and increasing flow capacity due to decreased levels of debris. The main objective of this research is to develop a self-cleaning trashrack that can be implemented at a reasonable cost at various irrigation districts with remote trashrack sites.

Need and Benefit

Existing trashrack cleaning systems such as trash rake systems tend to be equipment intensive systems that are well out of the range of affordability for many irrigation systems. Other systems such as traveling screens may be damaged by large debris that periodically may enter canal systems and can present reduction in flow area to the extent that an undesirable amount of head loss is created.

A question frequently received by Reclamation personnel during site visits to irrigation districts is if a self-cleaning trashrack system is available that can be cost effective for agricultural water delivery systems. Many districts have trashrack sites where floating debris accumulation requires almost constant attention, demanding much time, labor, and money. Frequently, these problem trashrack sites are at remote locations far from resources like electrical power service and automated debris removal systems. The remote locations also make maintenance time consuming and expensive.

This study will develop and test a self-cleaning trashrack concept that might be suitable for solar-charged operation and creates less head, similar to the existing bar racks they would replace. The development of such a system will be beneficial for many irrigation districts that depend on Reclamation for support. Specific sites where this technology will be applicable include the Cheyenne River siphon entrance at the Angostura Irrigation District near Oral, South Dakota, as well as three culvert entrances along the main canal of the Tom Green Water District near San Angelo, Texas.

Contributing Partners

None

Research Products

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about these documents.

This information was last updated on December 21, 2014
Contact the Research and Development Office with questions or comments about this page