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Wednesday, November 02, 2016
ACHD innovation recognized as national model by highway officials

Garden City – A device that allows crews to clean out plugged drainage pipes quicker and better, received national recognition Wednesday from a highway technology advocacy group.

The ACHD "Bottom Feeder" received top honors from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC) in the "Build a Better Mouse Trap Innovation Initiative."

"It’s a great innovation, the national organization was really impressed with what you guys are doing here at ACHD, and I wanted to make sure you guys knew of the good work that your guys are doing," stated LHTAC Deputy Administrator Laila Kral to the ACHD Commissioners as she presented the national award to the crew members.

Seven ACHD employees created the device.  Their invention, the "Bottom Feeder", was honored at last year’s LHTAC annual convention, but went on to receive top honors nationally in the national competition.

LHTAC presented the award during the commission meeting today held at the ACHD auditorium.

The "Bottom Feeder" was designed to help clean large drainage pipes and culverts (please see the video). The original method used to clean pipes left a substantial amount of debris along the bottom of the pipe. A cleaning head and hose are attached to a pipe, and debris is sprayed away by the head. The hose and head are pulled upward and through the length of the pipe. It was in the upward pulling motion that the effectiveness of the jets was lost, leaving behind debris.

The Bottom Feeder contains two clamps with rollers (instead of just one) that attach to the pipe. The hose and pipe cleaning head are routed through the rollers.  This allows the head to be pulled along the bottom of the pipe without lifting the hose/head combination and losing efficacy.

"ACHD drainage crews have been using the "Bottom Feeder" for a year," says Tim Morgan, ACHD Deputy Director of Maintenance "The "Bottom Feeder" saves ACHD around $12,000 a year in manpower and equipment while increasing safety, and crews can clean a drainage pipe five times faster than before. And, the Bottom Feeder only costs about $575 to build."

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