Heads Up Newsletter

December 2018

Hello HeadsUp Readers!

Twenty-five years ago, Gerald Seidl and I decided to go into business together selling bar screens into the USA municipal wastewater market. Every girl’s dream!  Ultimately, we and the people who worked with us over those years, changed the way wastewater operators think about protecting their facilities from debris, both small and large.

It took time, for instance, for engineers and operators to recognize that a ceramic collared, solid stainless steel lower sprocket is more durable than anything else you can put into a channel of wastewater.  (After all, the ceramic we use is similar to that which protects the space shuttle’s outer shell when it enters the earth’s atmosphere.)  The lower sprocket we introduced gives decades of service, accurately guiding the teeth of the rakes into the screenfield, clearing out the captured physical waste. That and our other numerous innovations changed the way screening is done.  We’ve listed the more important changes we brought to municipal wastewater screening in a short article in this HeadsUp issue.  Oh – and we have new patents, too. Innovation in water is our passion.

Today, Headworks Bar Screens and other products and processes are installed in over forty countries in some of the largest stormwater and wastewater facilities on the planet.  Our case study this month celebrates what we believe to be the largest wastewater screens in the world – each over 100 feet tall and the largest is 10 feet wide!  These screens were recently installed at the Village Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Birmingham, Alabama, and we are all extremely proud of providing Birmingham with these monsters.

Sometimes innovation isn’t about creating something new.  It can also be about resurrecting something iconic which has disappeared.  Back in 1961, my friend Boman Irani’s father and uncle started manufacturing the Czechoslovakian Jawa Motorcycles in India.  These sturdy bikes took over the market helped in part by appearances in famous Bollywood movies.  Although the Indian Jawa brand disappeared in the early ‘70’s, the Irani brothers continued operations with a similar motorcycle, the Yezdi.  The Yezdi sustained its popularity in India until the factory finally closed in 1996.  I’m delighted to share that Boman has collaborated with others to resurrect the Jawa brand in India under a license agreement with Jawa Moto in the Czech Republic.  The first bikes are simply gorgeous and ready to rock and roll in February 2019.  They’ve provided a short article for this HeadsUp issue and I’m sure you’ll find the history and the motorcycle magnetic!

Resiliency is an important quality in many things.  People, businesses, screens, great motorcycle brands, and armadillos.  Yes, armadillos.  With the holidays upon us, we all need fun stories of resilient things to keep us going through the party season.  Armadillos remind me of our tough screens, the giant screens and the small screens.  So, when I happened to hear a story about the armadillo, the Official Small Mammal of Texas, and how they’ve traced it back four million years to the original Texas glyptodons, a two-ton armadillo with a spikey tail, I had to share the story.  Armadillos are like Headworks Bar Screens.  So robust they can withstand anything the world throws at them.  My favorite armadillo story you can read here is the one about a man in East Texas who shot an armadillo with a .38 caliber pistol. The bullet ricocheted off the armadillo’s thick plating and hit the man in the face.  Yep, don’t mess with armadillos or Headworks Bar Screens.

And, in honor of the late great President H. W. Bush, Navy Sailor, also of Texas, I leave you with something he was known to say when lifting his glass in a toast: “There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships.  May they always be.”  Wishing all of you many peaceful moments with friends during this closing of the year.


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