Northumbrian technician nets patent for river protection device

A Northumbrian Water worker has patented for his invention of sewer screening baskets that prevent wrongly flushed items entering waterways from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) during heavy rainfall.

The stainless steel mesh baskets invented by Northumbrian technical support advisor, Ray Armstrong, range from 15mm to 50mm in diameter, sit in combined sewer overflows to catch solid items before they enter rivers and streams.

Northumbrian said Armstrong designed and built a prototype nine years ago, and with the support of his managers, implemented a number of successful trials in the company’s sewer network. Since then, more than 25 baskets have been fitted to CSOs across the region. The new patent, granted by the Intellectual Property Office, paves the way for others to licence the design for their own applications.