Thursday, April 15, 2021

Is Road Sweeping Necessary?

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Street cleaning has become a requirement in many cities, especially as the world shifts into a more sustainable route. Local authorities mandate this method in their cities and municipalities. Through street sweepers, they regulate pollution in stormwater systems and maintain a clean neighbourhood overall.

A street sweeper, also called a road sweeper, is a cleaning equipment that makes our streets or residential roads neat and safe. In this article, you will learn how street sweeping helps the environment and its benefits in other industries.

How does a street sweeper remove debris?

You may notice that street sweepers are long trucks with a large storage bin at the back. All dust and trash go to these bins as the vehicle picks them up. Street sweepers draw particles dislodged by their brushes. The truck releases a blast of air that dislodges particles from a road’s surface. These particles are collected by a vacuum and stored in a bin. A separate chamber filters the air before discharging it again.

A sweeper can drive about 15 mph. Street sweeping frequency depends on how busy a surrounding area is. Some villages schedule it quarterly, while other municipalities prefer to do it monthly. Commercial properties clean their areas often as part of good relations with their customers. In construction, it depends on the project’s size, but it is also as often as once or twice a month. Heavy construction is a major source of air pollutants; that’s why frequent sweeping is a must.  

Environmental Impact of Street Sweeping

Sweepers do an efficient job of cleaning the road, but they do more than just that. Besides making our streets look nice, they are effective controls for water pollution in urban areas. They are necessary parts of a community’s sewer and storm drainage maintenance. By collecting dust and debris, a road sweeper reduces pollutants that get carried away into stormwater. 

Street sweepers can remove the following waste from paved areas: leaves, sand, salt, rubbish, green waste such as grass and hedge clippings, petroleum products, and metal & plastic waste. We are all aware that a buildup of these particles, dust, and trash is problematic to our sewers. When sweepers collect all the waste, we can avoid clogging and overflowing in the storm drains. 

When any of the mentioned debris is present in the stormwater system, there is a chance it may lead to hazardous conditions for human and animal life. Even green waste has a share of hazards too. Leaves and grass clippings are high in phosphorus and nitrogen. They are biodegradable yet, having too many of these substances in the storm drain system results in water contamination due to algae. 

Other Benefits of Road Sweepers

Street sweepers are used for cleaning streets outside our homes. In any paved road or area, like parking lots, they help minimize tire damage. Road sweepers are used in schools and universities where manual sweepers are not enough to cover large areas and campuses. 

Developers also use sweepers in construction sites, ensuring a safe and sanitary environment for their workers. A clean environment increases property value, too; thus, an agent in helping local economies prosper. 

Street sweepers are heavily used in airports to eliminate loose debris on the tarmac. Concrete chips can damage turbofan engines of aircraft and affect their longevity. Thus, a clean tarmac and runway are critical in these areas. 

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