Stainless-steel wires exclude gulls from a wastewater treatment plant

Journal - American Water Works Association
By: , and 



There is growing concern about the prevalence of pathogens and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment and the role wildlife plays in their transmission and dissemination. Gulls feeding at wastewater treatment plants may provide a route for transmission of pathogens and bacteria to public water supplies or other critical areas. The authors identified gulls routinely feeding at a wastewater treatment plant in Millbury, Mass., and tested the effectiveness of overhead stainless-steel wires in excluding gulls from the plant. The number of gulls in certainstructures was compared before and after wiring and during an experimental approach using simultaneous treatments and controls. Stainless-steel wires spaced at 0.9-3.3 m (3-10 ft) effectively prevented gulls from using treatment structures (p < 0.0001) and were effective for > 24 months. Materials costs to wire all structures was about $5,700, and labor costs were $4,020. Overhead stainless-steel wires can provide a long-term, cost-efficient method of excluding ring-billed gulls from wastewater treatment plants.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Stainless-steel wires exclude gulls from a wastewater treatment plant
Series title Journal - American Water Works Association
DOI 10.5942/jawwa.2013.105.0118
Volume 105
Issue 10
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher American Water Works Association
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 10 p.
First page E609
Last page E618
Country United States
State Massachusetts
City Millbury