Wave Power Cleaning System Saves Time
and Effort
Water Supplies Department - Energy Management Unit

Exemplary Services@Gov
2013
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In Hong Kong, the majority of the population is supplied with seawater for flushing. Seawater is first screened by strainers to remove sizeable particles before treatment for disinfection. One of the problems during the screening process is the frequent attachment of marine organisms to the strainers blocking the water flow. In the past, these strainers had to be cleaned over a thousand times a year to address the problem. With the invention of the Wave Power Cleaning System, the problem was properly addressed bringing about substantial improvement to the efficiency of pumping stations.

Clever adaptation of solutions

During cross-unit experience sharing and exchange, the Energy Management Unit (EMU) learned about the problem of marine organisms attaching on strainers at pumping stations, and started to explore solutions to address this problem. Being inspired by the observation that grass stops growing when frequently trampled, an idea came to the mind of an engineer to make use of the natural force of waves to scrub the strainers continuously to stop the growth of marine organisms there.

Repeated testing yielding improvements

The EMU shared this initial design idea with the colleagues in the Operations Unit and the Mechanical Workshop Unit. They set up a cross-unit project team to realise the design.

The cross-unit team worked meticulously in designing, producing, assembling and testing the device and work process. The first version of Wave Power Cleaning System came to use in 2011, but the team was not satisfied with its performance and the procedures of installing and removing the brushing device. They continued to work on improvements. The team even devoted their spare time to try out different approaches to improve the design and finally succeeded in inventing a more efficient version in early 2012.

The launch of the Wave Power Cleaning System has substantially improved the performance of strainers, saving departmental resources spent on cleaning work. The journey the project team took was both valuable learning for them as well as a model of cross-unit and multi-disciplinary collaboration in the department.

In the past, WSD team members had to manually wash strainers with pressurised water.
The new generation pulleys design now effectively prevents marine organisms from adhering to and breeding on the strainer.
The model of Wave Power Cleaning System invented by the EMU.