City Buys New Vactor Truck To Unclog Storm Drains

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 05, 2006

The City of Berkeley recently bought a powerful new Vactor truck to clean up clogged storm drains in the city. 

The truck, which runs on a six-cylinder engine and carries a 1,000 gallon water system, had a price tag of $246,067.54. 

The new acquisition, a Vactor 2100 Series with a John Deere auxiliary engine mounted to Sterling model 7501 chassis, brings the total number of trucks used by Public Works Department to clean sewers and storm drains in the city to three, with one being used to clean sewers and two being used to clean storm drains. 

“It is actually a giant vacuum cleaner,” said Claudette Ford, acting director of public works. “Berkeley gets a lot of rain and this new addition will prove helpful when we face problems with clogged storm drains.” 

Ford explained, “The water that is filled into the tanks is used to flush the drains. The vacuum pump is attached to the truck’s intake hose which is lowered into the storm drain. As a result the storm drain is flushed from all angles with the water coming from the tanks. The water helps the vacuum to suck up all the debris.” 

One of the main reasons the city bought the new truck was to lessen the strain on city workers who often have to clean out the clogged drains with their hands. 

“This makes the process a lot simpler, mechanized, as well as faster,” Ford said. 

The truck will be used for regular storm drain cleaning and residents can request the truck if they are having a storm drain problem. 

For more information contact the Public Works Department at 981-6300. 


Photograph by Michael Howerton 

Public Works employees show off the new Vactor 2100 Series with a John Deere Auxiliary engine on a Sterling model 7501 chassis, which cost the city nearly a quarter of a million dollars.