Press Release: A unique floatable debris collection boom called The Gate-Or™ that the City first tested in 2009 has now been improved further with a germ killing ability that enhances its value in environmental clean-up. The boom, a device that sits astride a waterway and collects water-borne debris, was first installed in Pasadena as a way to test trash collection at one point rather than having City crews pick up the entire length of a drainage ditch. A fabric catch was installed at the bottom of the boom to trap hydrocarbon and other chemical pollutants.


Inventor Perry Panousis’ WaterWay CleanUp Services offered The Gate-Or™ to Pasadena for testing and the results were encouraging. The partnership has continued, and thousands of pounds of trash and contaminants have been removed from the waterway in the four years since. The newest innovation adds a public health twist by adding a special anti-microbial capturing system called Bacti-Guard Technology™ that traps bacteria and fecal coliform in the fabric sock attached to the boom. The boom’s new germicidal capability makes it a first line of defense against street runoff that could eventually foul our coastal waters. Panousis calls the newly improved boom a “one stop system for use in all waterways.”


While the operation of debris removal is easy to see, the anti-microbial fabric uses some decidedly high tech methods to safely stop bacteria at the boom. Rather than chemical means which could leach from the fabric and harm aquatic life, the boom uses fibers that have the bactericide bonded to it. It works to kill microorganisms by molecular physical penetration, electrostatic attraction and electrocution, while avoiding the problem of bacteria developing resistance as happens with chemical solutions. The fabric targets single cell organisms such as bacteria, yeast, and algae.


Daya Dayananda, the City’s Assistant Director of Public Works, heads Pasadena’s environmental quality team and has a particular interest in a new characteristic of the fabric sock. Besides the obvious advantages of easier and more efficient clean-up of plastic, glass, paper, vegetation and pollutants in our waterways, the fabric is made from 100% recycled material and can be commercially cleaned and reused many times rather than discarded after each use. Not only does this save the City considerable money, it adds another eco-friendly benefit in using the boom. The City’s first Texas Commission on Environmental Quality pre-approved Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) is awaiting funding in order to build a much larger trash/hydrocarbon collection version of The Gate-Or™ which will include the antimicrobial material. The project would enable our community to expand the benefits of this new tool across more waterways.

With the success of the boom’s design and technology clearly proven, Panousis is hopeful other municipalities across the state and beyond will take advantage of this safe, cost-effective way to clean waterways of trash, chemical pollutants–and now disease causing bacteria–from storm water runoff. It’s a challenge that Pasadena has been instrumental in meeting, and WaterWay Cleanup Services wants to spread the good news to other communities with similar needs.


  1. L. Tidwell September 23, 2012 9:15 pm 

    This is very interesting. I hope my town, The Woodlands, is taking advantage of this system. If not, they should. Saving county/town money and making things better in the process sounds like a step in the right direction.

  2. E. Tobias September 24, 2012 9:47 pm 

    What an innovative invention, I’ve never heard anything like it! I really love how this device can do so many things to help clean the waterways. I really hope not only my hometown, The Woodlands, uses it, but also eventually the entire country to make the environment a cleaner place to live. Mr. Panousis’ unique invention should definitely be utilized in every waterway if they know what’s good for the future of mankind.

    • Eric Anderson September 26, 2012 9:51 am 

      I agree. This is such a simple yet innovative approach. I don’t know why it is not standard practice for all City Govt. Stopping the problem upstream will help keep our lakes/oceans clean and safe for all living creatures….including us!

  3. Wayne Holt September 26, 2012 8:55 am 

    I work for the City of Pasadena and have known Perry for the past few years as he has perfected this unique system in our community. It has made a messy, unsightly and labor intensive job about as easy as you can imagine. For those folks up in the Woodlands who see the value in it, please let your opinions be known to the decision makers and hopefully you’ll be able to incorporate it into your environmental remediation efforts, too. Highly recommend it!

  4. Ken Proctor September 26, 2012 1:17 pm 

    All communities need this system. I would imagine that all this trash eventually flows into the gulf, where we swim. It seems so simple – but isn’t that the definition of genius – making the complicated simple?
    Nice work Perry!

  5. Cris September 30, 2012 2:46 pm 

    WOW! Great to see someone doing something about the filth issues in the waterways. So many people are affected each year with deseases and infections from the pollution found from the run off into the bay, great job Mr. Panousis. Houston really needs your systems everywhere. The city of Houston and Mayor should look into the success your systems have made and hire your services.

  6. Lisa September 30, 2012 6:40 pm 

    Wonderful idea! I have never seen anything like it anywhere, hope to see these everywhere. Way to go Mr. Panousis-Waterway Cleanup Services

  7. Alex Warren September 30, 2012 6:54 pm 

    I really like this invention and would love to see it as a mainstream device used in city’s waterways. I especially like the potential good it can do now that biomaterials are becoming even better and more common. I really like the way Mr. Panousis uses these new materials to improve his invention. There is so much potential here and Mr. Panousis has already got the right ideas.

  8. Chris T. September 30, 2012 10:58 pm 

    Speaking as someone for whom environmental concern is a great deal, I think something like this needs to be nationwide… and further, if that’s possible.

  9. Alexia Stergiou October 1, 2012 1:05 am 

    I agree. Every community that cares for mankind should utilize this system. Mr. Panousis’s method was already genius and now it has improved further with a germ killing ability that enhances its value in environmental clean-up! What more convincing does a city need to utilize this system in their waterways?!! Excellent work Mr. Panousis!!

  10. Mike C October 7, 2012 9:31 am 

    This should be a requirement within all municipalities! I personally think Mr. Panousis is a genius for coming up with this system and putting his own time and money into this project he should be receiving an award! The storm water maintenance within public works should be held accountable not using this system and allowing filth to poison us all. This system catches trash contaminants and now kills dangerous bacteria before getting into our precious resources. Thank you Mr. Panousis

  11. Andrew Karl October 11, 2012 10:46 pm 

    If it is green and effective in preserving the environment, I’d say this product will eventually become a standard. What we have here is a classic example of American innovation working to make the world a better, cleaner, place. I support this 100%.

  12. Lenny C October 19, 2012 8:26 am 

    Wonderful idea! I had the pleasure meeting Mr. Panousis at a council meeting. Very intelligent and really cares about the environment. I really hope to see these systems of his in every city.

  13. Adam B. October 25, 2012 7:34 am 

    This device is an incredibly ingenious solution to a serious environmental issue. It is truly impressive how Mr. Panousis has employed this fabric into his invention that is not only environmentally friendly, but is cost-effective and highly efficient at removing pollutants and harmful bacteria without having to introduce chemical agents into the waterways which could potentially harm wildlife downstream. The use of the Bacti-Guard technology is also a very clever way of combatting microorganisms whilst avoiding the issue of bacterial resistance. The practicality of this invention is readily obvious, and I believe it is only a matter of time before we start seeing Gate-Or devices protecting the waterways of many cities nationwide.

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