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Quantifying Nutrient Removal by Enhanced Street Sweeping (2014)

Storm grate Stormwater Magazine offers an article that tackles the difficult subject of quantifying the effects of enhanced street sweeping. For over a decade, the US EPA's Stormwater and NPDES programs have encouraged cities of over 10,000 to clean up polluted stormwater runoff. The widespread problem, however, is that even with significant resources being spent to address the pollution issues over the past decade, many have not achieved nutrient reduction goals.

In the 140 lakes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, for example, only one has been delisted as a result of management success. For that and other reasons, city managers are taking a harder look at street sweeping as a potential way to lower nutrient loads by keeping leaves and other organic matter – like what is shown in the photo to the right – out of the wastewater stream. If you are involved in trying to attain compliance with EPA mandates in this regard, you will want to read this study that covers the city of Prior Lake, MN, a leafy southwestern suburb of the Twin Cities, which was conducted by the University of Minnesota thanks to an EPA grant.

Go to story.

The Effectiveness of Sweepers as an Urban Stormwater BMP in Maryland (2013)

The Maryland-based Center for Watershed Protection recently released a study that evaluated which urban stormwater practices provide the greatest nutrient and sediment reductions for the lowest investment. Although designed to help localities in the James River watershed more cost-effectively achieve the pollutant load reductions required by the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, the article offers valuable insight to any stormwater manager trying to minimize TMDL issues.

Our interview with the head of the sweeping information portion of the study, Dr. Neely Law, offers an insight into the issue of "pickup efficiency" – over 90% for new generation air sweepers – vs. the much lower values typically assigned as "pollutant removal efficiency" for sweeping as a BMP. Go to story.

Sweeper Pickup Efficiency Testing Conducted for Glendale and Burbank California Officials

The push for a sweeping industry-wide testing protocol received a boost via a round of testing in August of 2011 financed by Glendale and Burbank, California officials.

The regulatory driver for this testing is a Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL) for the Los Angeles River that requires the Cities to reduce metals' concentrations in storm water. Go to story.

Real World Street Cleaner Pickup Performance Testing

A great deal of controversy surrounds the question of how much of the pollution found in urban stormwater runoff can street cleaning remove? For an accurate assessment of cleaning effectiveness, pickup performance data is needed for the various street cleaner models currently available. Results were published in early 2011. Go to story.

Seattle Pilot Study Quantifies Sweepers' Positive Effects on Water Quality

Like other coastal areas of the U.S., Puget Sound is facing an increasing level of degradation created by point and non-point source pollution. In the summer of 2006, Seattle Public Utilities began a one-year street sweeping study that determined that sweeping was effective as a front-line pollution prevention BMP. Results were released in mid-2009. Go to story.

Sweeper Test Results Highlight Positive Impact of Sweeping on Reducing Storm Water Pollution

Elgin Sweeper, the leading manufacturer of street sweepers in the United States, has released results of a sweeper test performed by an independent group of storm water control experts, headed by Roger Sutherland, president of Pacific Water Resources, Inc. The results demonstrate the efficiency of Elgin Sweeper street sweepers in removing storm water pollutants. Go to story.

Deriving Reliable Pollutant Removal Rates for Municipal Street Sweeping and Storm Drain Cleanout Programs in the Chesapeake Bay Basin

The Center for Watershed Protection collaborated with a number of agencies, with the intent of quantifying the pollutant reduction that can be achieved by street sweeping and storm drain cleanouts. All of the information was used to provide locally-derived pollutant removal reductions for street sweeping and storm drain cleanout practices for Chesapeake Bay communities. Go to story.

Brake Pad Partnership Seeks to Remove Copper From Stormwater Runoff

The problem the BPP group is addressing is to gain a better understanding of the role brake pad wear plays in putting copper into waterways. Information includes study results showing capability of sweeper to remove copper from runoff stream. Go to story.

Seattle Study Focuses on Water Quality

'Seattle Street Sweep' is a pilot project ongoing in 2006 - 2007 designed to evaluate best practices and new technology to improve the health of Seattle's waters. The link is to an interview with the study director that discusses the study design and other parameters. Go to story.

Toronto Assessment Project Moves Fleet From Mechanical to Regenerative Air

After compiling test data, City of Toronto staff conclude that a 92% combined surface and air removal efficiency could be achieved with the use of a regenerative-air street sweeper. This would translate into an estimated 35% improvement in PM10 content of ambient air citywide once they implement their 50 sweeper fleet away from the current mechanical broom and into regenerative-air street sweepers. Go to PDF study criteria or to staff report.

Street Sweeping – State of the Practice

Minnesota's Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District has compiled one of the most comprehensive 'State of the Practice' documents on sweeping. This information was initially published in June of 2005. Go to story.

Residential Street-Dirt Accumulation Rates and Chemical Composition, and Removal Efficiencies by Mechanical- and Vacuum-Type Sweepers, New Bedford, Massachusetts,
Study Conducted 2003 — 2004

New Bedford study concludes that street-dirt-accumulation rates, street-dirt chemistry data, and street-sweeper efficiencies can be used to estimate the potential benefits gained by implementing a sweeping program. Go to story.

Center for Watershed Protection Evaluates Sweeping as a BMP for Chesapeake Bay Area

The Urban Storm Water Work Group of the Chesapeake Bay Program goal is defining more accurate pollutant removal rates for the practices of street cleaning and storm drain cleanouts as a top priority for its BMP tracking system. Go to story.

Evaluation of Street Sweeping as a Water-Quality Management Tool in Residential Basins in Madison

The City of Madison, WI, is currently conducting a paired basins study to determine the effectiveness of street sweeping to determine if water-quality benefits are realized by the street-sweeping program, and to what extent. Testing should be completed by September of 2005. Sweepers used are provided by Elgin. The link is to the information now online at USGS. We'll have study results as they are available. Read the current info.

Potential Effects of Structural Controls and Street Sweeping on Stormwater Loads to the Lower Charles River, Massachusetts

This 50-page study released in 2002 was conducted by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and US Department of the Interior (USDI) and evaluated predicted effectiveness of street sweeping by various types of sweeping technology, when paired with other stormwater runoff pollution control measures, on reducing pollutants flowing into the Charles River. Note that pdf file size is about 7.6mb. See the study.

Source Area and Regional Storm Water Treatment Practices: Options for Achieving Phase II Retrofit Requirements in Wisconsin

This study takes place in the totally urbanized Lake Wingra watershed in Madison, Wisconsin. The goal is to find retrofit practices that are able to reduce the annual total suspended solids load by 40%. Model results indicate the parking lots and streets are the most important sources of total suspended solids. Street sweeping at varying frequencies is paired with other technologies, with the goal of reaching the 40% reduction. Read the current info.

South Coast Air Quality Management District Sweeper Certification Testing

As of January 1, 2000, all sweepers purchased for regular municipal routes in four California counties - Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernadino - had to be 'Rule 1186 Certified' by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Here's how that was accomplished. Read the story.

Study Quantifies Broom Sweeper Litter Pickup Ability

Litter Management Pilot Study addresses litter discharges from storm drain systems given differing sweeping schedules by mechanical broom sweepers. Read the story.

Litter Management Study: A Stormwater Perspective

Sweeper researcher, Roger Sutherland, comments on the above broom sweeper pickup study in terms of its value in reducing stormwater runoff pollution. Read the story.

Virginia Test Further Documents Pickup of High Efficiency Sweepers

Northern Virginia testing shows high efficiency sweeper will pick up more than 500 pounds per curb mile after either regenerative air or mechanical broom sweepers. Read the story.

Kurahashi Study: Street Sweeper Pick-up Performance

As part 1 of KAI's work for the Port of Seattle on the stormwater quality analysis of the Sea-Tac International Airport, they conducted an "All Known and Reasonable Technologies" (AKART) search into stormwater quality management practices and passive stormwater treatment devices. Read the story.

Research Studies at Office of Water Programs, California State University at Sacramento

This web page offers links to a number of water-quality and litter removal studies, although these do not involve the use of sweepers, they do provide a number of studies having to do with stormwater runoff. See the page.

To view other sweeper studies located on this site, be sure to also take a look at the Environmental Section of the WorldSweeper.com website.

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