Street Sweeping Helps Reduce Stormwater Pollution

Storm drains serve their main purpose by effectively removing rainwater to help prevent floods after major storms. They give water a place to go. However, what’s often forgotten is the amount of chemicals, dirt, and debris that runoff water collects and carries with it. Runoff water can even pick up other urban contaminants such as trash and metals that are harmful to our local environments.

Keeping our local streets, drains, and parking lots clean is essential to the overall health of every community. Cleaner air and water result in less harmful pollution – proven by many studies.

Recent studies have shown one of the best methods to reduce stormwater pollution in runoff is by utilizing street sweeping services. A recent 2-year study conducted in Cambridge, MA tested the water runoff quality for excess amounts of solids and phosphorus which can reduce water’s overall oxygen level.

To test how well street sweeping was at removing harmful contaminants, the city tested how often streets were swept to compare the impact. The results are shown below:

  • Monthly: 16% solid reduction; 8% phosphorus reduction
  • Bimonthly: 18% solid reduction; 8.3% phosphorus reduction
  • Weekly: 18% solid reduction; 8.7% phosphorus reduction
  • Three times a week: 19% solid reduction; 9.3% phosphorus reduction

Overall, street sweeping helped reduce phosphorus levels by up to 9.3% and solids up to 19%.

The results of this study are just one example of how street sweeping helps reduce stormwater pollution.

What Can Your City Do?

All cities can join in to help improve the air and water quality of their community.  Here are a few tips to help your city prevent and reduce its stormwater pollution.

  1. Reach out to public works officials to raise awareness
  2. Partner with a reliable street sweeping company
  3. Decide how often streets should be swept
  4. Plan effective street sweeping routes

Thomas Abeyta, a public works supervisor for the San Diego Storm Water Department is helping his city lower it’s stormwater pollution. “We’re averaging about 100,000 miles swept in a year,” says Thomas.

That sweeping keeps 220,000 pounds of debris out of the storm drains. Forester Daily News.

The street sweeping fleet of Central Valley Sweeping covers the entire geographic area of the Central Valley. Learn more how our sweeping services can help benefit your city or business.