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Baltimore's Inner Harbor Water Wheel Set New Record

BALTIMORE (WJZ)--A water wheel designed to sweep tons of trash from Baltimore's Inner Harbor is setting records. Since it started turning last year, it's removed nearly 200 tons of trash and debris.

Gigi Barnett has more on how the wheel works.

Just off of Baltimore's Pier Six is a water and solar powered trash and debris collecting contraption, churning away in the Inner Harbor. It's a strange device to some.

"We always saw it walking over the bridge and never walked over to see what it was doing," said Glenn Quinting, Inner Harbor Visitor

It's called the Water Wheel, there isn't another one like it in the world and it's breaking records when it comes to swallowing trash from the city's Inner Harbor. It pulled 19 tons of trash out of the water this week alone.

"That's the most trash we've ever picked up on a single day. That is three African elephants in weight and that's the lightest stuff cause we pick up the stuff that floats," said Adam Lindquist, Healthy Harbor Initiative Manager, Waterfront Partnership.

Adam Lindquist heads up the Healthy Harbor Initiative. His group wants to make the Inner Harbor swimmable and fishable in the next five years.

"Just let me know when that happens. I got my trunks on.  I'm ready," said Alex Frey, Inner Harbor visitor.

The device is at the heart of that plan, but the wheel can't work alone.

"Our ultimate goal is to put this water wheel out of business and the way we're going to do that is by implementing some solutions in our city and it will really reduce the amount of trash we're seeing," Lindquist said.

"It's working it's hardest during a rain storm and when it's raining people aren't at the Inner Harbor seeing it work. So to resolve that situation we will actually soon be launching our live webcam so people can check it out in the rain," he said.

A previous record for the water wheel was 11 tons of trash and that was set back in May of last year.

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