Case Study

Small But Powerful Mahr® Bar Screen Handles Prison Waste Effectively

Mahr Screen and Parkson from frontThe Dr. George Beto Prison is located just outside Tennessee Colony, between Huntsville and Dallas, Texas. It is part of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system and houses 3,600 inmates. The prison has its own wastewater treatment plant which also deals with wastewater from another facility, the Joe F. Gurney prison, which houses another 2,000 inmates.

Prison waste is unique as a rule, and Beto’s is no exception. It contains not only sanitary waste, but also effluent from the kitchen and laundry, meaning Beto WWTP sees its fair share of grease and fibers. Prisoners at Beto are notorious for flushing any number of objects, from sheets, towels and clothing, to objects from the metal sign shop and concrete/block plant, which are part of the manufacturing/logistics and rehabilitation programs within the prison walls.

In April of 2004, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice declared that the 24 year old Beto Wastewater Treatment Plant was in need of being refurbished and upgraded in order to meet Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation’s standards. Specifications were drawn up for new wastewater treatment screens to be purchased and installed. The plant has oxidation ditches, chlorine contact chambers and a stair step outfall which discharges into a local stream.

The bidding was then underway, with four manufacturers being specified for the job. Headworks® Inc. was the first named manufacturer, having been researched and recommended by the TDCJ’s consulting engineering firm, S & B Infrastructure, Ltd. Headworks® was consequently awarded the purchase order for a Mahr® Bar Screen and a Transpactor Shaftless Conveyor/Compactor to replace the existing manual bar rack.

The screen which Headworks® Inc. provided has an overall length of 13 feet 2 inches. The screen field length is 2.88 feet long and 1.52ft wide. It weighs a whopping 2015 lbs and is installed at an angle of 75°. The screenings are discharged into the chute of the Transpactor for dewatering and removal.

This robust unit has been running for over two years now and the TDCJ is very pleased with its performance. The maintenance supervisor, Mr. Michael Bowling, and the operator, Mr. Ron Stockton, have been quoted as saying that despite the challenging screenings, the unit is “…running fine and has been a wonderful product.”

Although Headworks® is known as the market leader in large screening applications, it is also the equipment of choice in smaller but challenging environments. If you would like more information on how our engineering team can help design the best equipment for your needs, email our sales department.

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