Clean River Design Challenge

Round 2 is underway!

After wonderful presentations from eight student teams, it is time to kick-off Round 2!  Students from local universities will spend the semester turning their in-stream trash removal device designs into small scale models. Models will be tested in a specialized flume at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, that will mimic the conditions of the Cherry Creek.

The Water Connection was thrilled to have eight teams from three different institutions participate in Round 1 of the Clean River Design Challenge (CRDC). All student teams presented their designs for in-stream trash removal devices to a panel of judges, and three winners were selected!

First Place: Team Dream Stream from Colorado School of Mines
Second Place: MSU Trash Getters from Metro State University
Third Place: Go with the Float from Colorado School of Mines

All eight teams are invited to participate in the next phase of the competition, which requires building a scaled model of their designs!

Thank you to all of our supporters who are making this competition possible:
Sponsors: Denver Water, Denver Department of Public Health and Environmental, ECI Construction, DHM Design, and Wright Water Engineers.
Judging Panel: Confluence Kayaks, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, ECI Construction, DHM Design, CDM Smith, Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment, US Bureau of Reclamation.
Thank you to STEAM on the Platte for donating their space for the competition!

Check out photos from Round 1 presentations in this Facebook album !

Looking to get involved in the CRDC? Contact Devon Buckels at

About the competition:
Despite the significant evolution in the health of the South Platte, trash and other forms of pollution continue to be an ongoing challenge to the River. In response to this reality, The Greenway Foundation (TGF), in collaboration with Metropolitan State University of Denver’s One World One Water (OWOW) Center, created the Clean River Design Challenge to engage higher education students in developing designs for urban waterway trash removal devices. Now in it’s second year, the competition has expanded to include University of Colorado at Denver, and the Colorado School of Mines. Other project partners include Denver Environmental Health, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Water, and representatives of Denver’s professional engineering sector.

Check out our video here: CRDC video

The Water Connection is coordinating and leading this competition. Learn more at The Greenway Foundation’s website