Street Sweeping: What happens on site, stays on site

One of the first rules of stormwater management and erosion control is to keep sediment on site. This may seem like an impossible task, for some. Both wind and water are notorious for going wherever they please, and unfortunately, they take the sediment with them. The best that we can do is to use well designed and appropriate BMPs where they make sense to reduce erosion. Even something as simple as sweeping your streets, both onsite in homebuilding areas, and into public roadways can work to prevent runoff from carrying sediment off site.

Street sweeping is pretty straight forward. You simply employ a method of removing sediment from the roadways back onto the site. Many trucks use either blowing or actual sweeping to accomplish this. Conventional trucks may start with spraying water onto the dust particles to prevent particles from blowing away, and then the brushes under the truck will sweep the dirt onto a conveyor system, which carries everything to a storage container on the truck. There are also regenerative air sweepers which have a hydraulic system that create a jet of air to churn up the dirt and a vacuum system to suck up the dirt.

You can also use something as simple as leaf blowers to clean out curbs and small jobs, where necessary. This is as simple as dispatching a crew with the blowers to blow the dirt back into the active construction area.

Some preventative measures that may be considered to reduce the amount of dirt that ends up on the road in the first place may include using water trucks to wet sites and slow down wind erosion, using curb cutbacks to create a gap between roadways and the curb or street, or vegetative buffers between the road and the site to slow down or stop sediment from going over the curb.  Street sweeping is an important part of staying in compliance with NPDES regulations.




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