Stay Updated: Effective and Cost- Efficient Street Sweeping Practices

In an earlier post click here to read, we mentioned that, “the number one most important way to make street sweeping effective is to make sure that all cars are removed from the street.” This consideration is obvious to professional street sweepers.

Why is street sweeping so critical?

This second question helps both professionals and citizens alike to understand the long-term implications of street sweeping. Pay attention to the practices you implement, ask yourself if you are up-to-date, and be more cost effective in the end.

In trying to pinpoint your reasoning for street sweeping, some important questions to ask might be: are you targeting water quality goals? Is street sweeping being employed for aesthetic/cosmetic reasons? Whatever the reason, just knowing your priorities is the first step in implementing an effective sweeping program.

Sweeping for Cosmetics/Aesthetics

If you’re street sweeping for cosmetic reasons, you’ll be more effective when you stick to a schedule. Designing and adhering to a set schedule will increase efficacy and efficiency—you’ll likely be more thorough by staying within your timetable instead of getting behind and having to skimp on sweeping protocols.

Additionally, home and business owners will get in the habit of following the schedule and avoid parking during sweeping hours.

When setting a schedule, it is wise to be flexible. Cities are busy, so it pays to accommodate citizen’s schedules as well as climactic conditions. You’ll want to take the following into account:

• Land use

• Traffic volume

• Field observations (of sediment and trash accumulation)

Once you’ve considered the above, get the law on your side.

Work within city ordinances to incorporate parking policies before, during, and after sweeping. If your street sweeping program has the nod of approval from the city council, here is a list of things you might consider:

Post permanent signs in traffic-heavy areas (consider temporary signs if permanent signs aren’t an option).

Develop a parking policy to restrict parking during street sweeping periods. Distribute fliers to notify residents of schedules.

While it may seem like a hassle initially, implementing a set schedule for street sweeping will save you time and money in the long run.

Sweeping for Water Quality

Most street sweeping programs are limited by cost. With that in mind, remember time is money. If you are sweeping for water quality, don’t use valuable time sweeping areas that don’t accumulate much debris—forgo areas that don’t have curbs/gutters (as there is usually less debris there).

Many studies have showed that street sweeping is effective in reducing pollutants in storm water. Sweeping decreases the amount of pollutants that would otherwise be picked up by storm water runoff. Maximize the potential for finding (and solving) water and air pollution problems by implementing a program that is set to run right after a rain storm.

With water quality in mind, make sure the program you use has a strict disposal and reuse policy. While some trash and debris can be recycled or sent to a landfill, other street sweeping material may be hazardous. To determine if such is the case, collect debris and run tests in order to ensure you are following all federal and state regulations. Take the time to follow regulations so you won’t have to spend time dealing with any legal fallout later.

Another important factor in street sweeping for water quality is your machinery. There are three different types of street sweepers and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

• Mechanical

• Regenerative Air

• Vacuum Filter

Each machine impacts pollutant removal, speed, travel distance, noise, and cost differently. Know the machine (and weigh its pros and cons) before buying it. Take cost and efficiency into account when purchasing a street sweeper.

Whether you are sweeping for cosmetic, water quality, or any other reason, take the time to understand the practices that are effective and well-suited for your sweeping purposes. While a “best” practice has yet to be fully determined, there are certain practices that lead the field. Once you have determined the why of your intended street sweeping, do your homework on the how.

Stay up to date in your field with help from USA Services, where we know street sweeping, guardrail repair, and keeping your professional enterprises running smoothly.