Frequently asked questions

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What is a WATERGOAT?

A WATERGOAT is a buoy and a net system created to catch topical litter flowing in water systems. It is classified as a StormWater Debris Boom.

How is it installed?

BIGWATER Rescue will send representation to ensure that your new WATERGOAT is installed properly. The WATERGOAT is easily fixed to the ground by placing Spuds or EarthAnchors at the highest water point, no less than 2ft - 3ft into the embankment. The WATERGOAT is permanently attached to one side/spud to prevent asset loss, and is made to raise and lower with rapidly fluctuating water levels. 

How is it maintained?

WATERGOATs do have the potential to collect several hundreds of pounds each month, and at times require diligent maintenance. Groups acquiring WATERGOAT are asked to find a means to collect the litter on a regular basis for best results. 


WATERGOATs are safely maintained from the embankments or headwall. At no time or circumstance is it ever necessary to enter the water for installation or ongoing maintenance. In addition, tether lines are attached to the WATERGOAT to enable easy access to debris; once released, the WATERGOAT resumes position. Volunteers need only use a ScoopNet attached to an extending pole.

Will it harm wildlife?

The WATERGOAT is used to capture floating debris. The system is created with a wildlife friendly net consisting of a drape size of either 8” or 16” (sometimes longer with approval), allowing MarineLife/WaterFowl continuous safe passage. No fish or mammal has ever been harmed in or near a WATERGOAT, and the device has been approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

How long does the device last?

The first WATERGOAT ever installed was just replaced in 2018 after more then a decade in the worst conditions.

What about vandalism?

There has only been one case of vandalism. Permitting funding is available and replacement/repair is affordable, we will fix it for free. However, depending on the distance, there may be a charge for a service call to help cover travel and lodging.