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Water Goats help keep Lake Maggiore clear

St. Petersburg, Fla.  (March 6, 2018) – At the invitation of city engineers, a handful of ecological activists came out to Lake Maggiore this morning to throw a goat in the water.  A “water goat.” 

The contraption made up of brightly-painted Styrofoam floats, a 60 foot long net and chains went in right by a storm drain outfall in Dell Homes Park -- just a few feet from some curious alligators -- all in an effort to keep trash, debris and pollutants from clogging this great big pond.  

Watch video story on St. Petersburg Public Works' YouTube Channel:

Tampa Bay Watch volunteers helped Water-goat-maker Mike Maksimowicz position things just right… to capture the outflow from that storm-drain piping before it impacts any of the sensitive ecosystem here even as he was quick to explain the genesis of the name.

“Because goats eat everything,” he said flatly. 

“They eat trash – anything that’s in their way,” he added. “And we wanted to make that correlation between water – and eating the trash up.” 

He also was happy to explain the seemingly simple design of the “goat.”  

“It’s caveman technology,” he continued. “It works good though. It catches all the trash that comes out after a big rain.” 

In fact, it works very well.  Maksimowicz estimates that the floating filter will start earning its keep as soon as tomorrow – if forecast rains materialize – and continue to trap trash year-round.

 “Something like this,” he said – pointing to the bobbing berm, “will probably capture about 150 pounds a month.”     

He says other similar installations have helped capture tons of trash over their lifetimes… and it’s his hope to put the floating filters all over the Pinellas County… 

This one cost less than three thousand dollars to install, and Tampa Bay Watch volunteers are poised to help keep it cleared out, free of charge.

“There’s almost 80 (already installed through the county) and we hope to get a bunch more out there,” he concluded.  ”It’s very inexpensive and the community gets involved and it works out real well.”

For more information on how you can help install or keep these goats clear, log onto

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