Air Sweeping: The Low Hanging Fruit of Stormwater Runoff Abatement

By property maintenance

Power Air Sweeping for your Property

Increasingly, those tasked with meeting EPA stormwater removal targets are realizing that power air sweeping – with the ‘right’ type of sweepers at the ‘right’ frequency being operated at the ‘right’ speed – are the least cost method of pollutant removal. That’s right: The latest findings show that power sweeping removes pollutants at a lower cost per pound than any other method. Although this may not be breaking news to those involved in the sweeping industry, it appears that stormwater managers around the U.S. and elsewhere are finally figuring it out.

Courtesy of stats developed by the City of Seattle, in this issue we offer yet another story that offers a definitive example of how cost-effective it can be to use air-based sweepers as the first line of defense against stormwater pollutants. Perched on Puget Sound, where water quality is in a rapid decline, Seattle leaders have been motivated to crunch the numbers and are now taking action.

The city’s data show street sweeping costs 4-to-10 times less than treating polluted water with conventional, end-of-the-pipe stormwater treatments. That’s why Seattle Public Utilities, in partnership with SDOT, will be doubling its sweeping program starting in 2016. As Shelly Basketfield, Seattle’s Street Cleaning for Water Quality program manager says: “If you can remove the pollutant before it gets into water, it’s cheaper. Once the pollutant is in the water, you have to treat all the water.”

In recent times, we have been receiving an increasing number of inquiries from individuals trying to determine the best way to develop a ‘sweeping for stormwater’ program. Just in the last month, in addition to our exclusive podcast interview with City of Seattle officials, we assisted a Texas city in developing a stormwater sweeping RFP. I also wrote an article on that topic that is set to appear in the August edition of Public Works magazine.

If you’re involved in developing an air sweeping program – or work with those who do – steer them in this direction.

Swept Away offers a relatively inexpensive power sweeping service to South Florida.

Sweeping requires no infrastructure modification so it’s perfect for the built-out environment that typifies most urban cities. If you want to make a positive water quality impact in your city then get with the program – an environmentally-sound, cost-effective air sweeping program.

Water quality in the U.S. and elsewhere is declining rapidly and if you don’t realize the value sweeping can have in removing the nasty pollutants coming off today’s urban streets then it’s time you did. The problem is not horse poop runoff anymore, folks… Brake and clutch plate dust, car exhaust particulates, vehicle tire particles, phosphates from fallen leaves: These are just a few of the substances commonly found in the toxin-laden residue on streets these days.

Contact us for a quote and get your property air sweeping clean.