$3M solution for Meeker Slough litter problem

$3M litter solution for Meeker's Slough
Meeker's Slough near Regatta Boulevard in Richmond's Marina Bay neighborhood.

The trash problem in Meeker Slough is set to have a $3 million solution.

The Caltrans grant, which appears on the Richmond City Council agenda this coming Tuesday, will pay for the construction of two full-trash capture devices at Meeker Ditch on Regatta Boulevard, according to the city.

The hydrodynamic separators will prevent litter from entering the waterway and Bay via the city’s stormwater system.

Two years ago, we reported about the trash problem in Meeker Slough, which one resident called “disgusting.”

“These CDS units will screen, separate and trap debris, sediment, and oil and grease from stormwater runoff,” city documents state. “Approximately 1,500 acres of land will be treated by the two CDS units, of which 42 acres are from Caltrans Right of Way. “The units have been rated as being effective at trapping 80 percent of sediment at either the 140 or 175 micron level depending on unit type. Thus, they will achieve load reductions of PCBs and Hg, besides trash.”

Installing these devices helps Richmond achieve its overall mandate for trash reduction in waterways.

The State Water Resource Control Board’s Municipal Regional Permit requires cities to lower trash loads in their waterways in phases, with the goal of 100 percent reduction by 2022. Through various measures, Richmond achieved the requirement of 60-percent reduction in 2016 and 70-percent reduction in 2017. The installation of hydrodynamic separators at Regatta Boulevard helps Richmond achieve the mandated 80-percent trash reduction compliance status by July 2019, according to city officials.

The Caltrans grant is part of a partnership between Caltrans and Richmond called the Cooperative Implementation Agreement (CIA), which was executed in March 2017.

Richmond will be responsible for managing, maintaining and operating the devices.