by Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor
The Importance of Stormwater Credits for Street Sweeping
I founded American Sweeper magazine in the early 1990s because I realized, via working with Schwarze dealers who were selling street sweepers, that most public works directors had no idea about the toxicity of the material coming off the streets. By and large, they were sweeping entirely for cosmetic reasons, without any recognition of what pavement-based pollutant runoff was doing to our waterways.
As an example, back then if a heavy rain was forecast most sweeping departments would figure they didn't have to sweep because the water would wash away the debris. Others used flusher trucks to 'rinse' the streets in order to make them appear clean. I suspect a few uninformed street departments still follow that unfortunate protocol. Largely due to the flawed NURP sweeper trials held with broom sweepers in the 1980s it has been an uphill battle to gain recognition about the overwhelming value sweeping provides in terms of pollutant removal.
More recently, with the latest studies coming out of Florida and, now, Minnesota, that should all change. Today we have increasing recognition of water quality degradation, combined with many cities not being able to hit the pollution reduction mandates of their stormwater permits. That has spurred the recent studies that show a hierarchy of the capabilities of the different methods for combating stormwater pollution. In Florida – and now in Minnesota – pollutant removal via street sweeping is coming out far ahead of all other methods.
Even more importantly, both Minnesota and Florida are now providing their cities with stormwater permit credits directly based upon how much debris is being removed via sweepers. When municipalities in those states realize the added value sweeping provides in terms of permit compliance, there's little doubt that sweeping frequency – and along with it pollutant removal – will increase across the board. The sweeping industry now needs to push to enact similar regulations across the US and around the world.
In addition to our feature article on the above topic, be sure to check out our question-and-answer session with Gary Jones, President of new US chassis manufacturer, Rainier Truck & Chassis. At least one sweeper company appears likely to mount sweepers onto Rainier chassis. You'll also find a variety of other articles designed to provide you with the latest from the world of power sweeping.
Executive Director, World Sweeping Association
Member, PAVEMENT Hall of Fame
PS If you're a contractor I urge you to check out the many benefits of membership in the World Sweeping Association. Also, if you haven't 'liked' our WorldSweeper Facebook page, what are you waiting for? That's where we offer a variety of industry previews and updates on an ongoing basis.
May Newsletter Contents
(Scroll down to read stories or click on links below.)
- Welcome to NPE 2009!
- Minnesota Cities Get MS4 Permit Credits for Phosphorus Removal Via Sweepers
- Profile on Rainier Truck and Chassis
- Superior Broom Offers Two New Models
- Elgin Sweeper Bullish on Electric, Hybrids
- APWA's PWX Show in St. Louis Starting August 29th
- Australian Kayak Tour Designed to Pick Up Trash
Welcome to NPE 2009!
Twelve years ago, the 2009 National Pavement Expo was held in Charlotte, NC, site of the planned 2022 NPE. WorldSweeper's coverage included an interview with the now-retired NPE coordinator, Allan Heydorn, as well as four other articles with information still valid today.
It was the year that the late Dale McCaskill won our Award of Excellence in Power Sweeping. We also offered over a dozen NPE vendor videos, some of which feature products no longer seen in the sweeper marketplace (Wharthog Brooms, SK Sweepers, MB Broom) and a variety of other out-of-date info – like the 'tour' of Elgin Sweeper's Megawind model done by Brian Giles, who switched his affiliation to Schwarze Industries some years ago.
Check out the link: We think you'll find it an enjoyable reminiscence as well as, with the seminars, with topics like "Revving Up Your Sales Engine," "Answers to Tough Family Business Queries," "Cost-Effective Marketing Basics for Long-Term Success," and "Saving Money on Fuel and Related Expenses."
Take a look back at WorldSweeper's coverage of the 2009 National Pavement Exposition.
Minnesota Cities Get MS4 Permit Credits for Phosphorus Removal Via Sweepers
On May 13th, WorldSweeper's Editor attended a Minnesota-based webinar that showcased the latest study data from that state detailing its data on the cost-effectiveness of street sweeping for removing phosphorus (P). As a result of the study data, Minnesota is enacting a street sweeping credit system for its MS4 cities.
In this issue we offer a brief overview of the Minnesota findings. Our linked information contains info from the brief webinar overview provided by Randy Neprash, PE, who is involved with the Minnesota Cities Stormwater Coalition and is an employee of Stantec.
However, we have also scheduled a one-on-one Zoomcast with Neprash, during which he will provide a detailed explanation of Minnesota's findings and how credits will be provided to participating Minnesota MS4 organizations. This will all be linked in the June edition of this newsletter.
Read the information about Minnesota's remarkable findings – and the state's plans to provide stormwater permit credits based upon street sweeping.
Profile on Rainier Truck and Chassis
In March of 2021 WorldSweeper published an article detailing the chassis shortages facing the sweeping industry from all three of the major suppliers, Isuzu, Chevrolet and Ford. In this article we showcase an up-and-coming chassis builder based in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
To provide more information to municipal sweeper users and sweeping contractors about this new chassis builder, we submitted a request to several major sweeper manufacturers in the U.S., asking them to provide us with WorldSweeper:s they'd like answered about the company. Then, we contacted Gary Jones, a principal at Rainier Truck & Chassis, who agreed to answer whatever questions we might have.
The following are the results of that exchange. We hope you will find them to be of help when considering whether or not to utilize one of Rainier's chassis in your sweeping organization.
Read about Rainier Truck & Chassis.
Superior Broom Offers Two New Models
Superior Broom's two newest models are getting a lot of attention – according to company officials. The SM74 front-mount model as well as the best-in-class DT74 mid-mount broom model are both proving to be very popular with contractors and governmental customers, they say, based on their unique designs, versatility and in-demand features.
The Superior Broom SM74 and DT74 model sweepers have many features not found on any other side-cast sweepers. Both offer a proprietary, smart hydraulic system and an electronic manifold that delivers power where and when it's needed. The variable brush speed control allows for slower churn sweeping when passing in close proximity to buildings and parked vehicles.
Both new models are the only side-cast sweepers in the industry that come equipped with a CAT® engine. Therefore, both machines are ideal additions for CAT® equipment fleets.
For more info, check out the company's press release.
Elgin Sweeper Bullish on Electric, Hybrids
In its Q1 Earnings Call, Federal Signal Corp., the parent company of Elgin Sweeper, reported that street sweeper electrification remains a key area of investment for the organization. Orders have been taken for Elgin's hybrid electric Broom Bear street sweeper, machines that are currently expected to ship later this year. The hybrid Broom Bear uses both battery energy and either CNG or diesel power for sweeping, with performance designed to meet or exceed current sweeper performance.
The hybrid Broom Bear is currently being demonstrated within the Elgin dealer network, primarily on the West Coast. However, demos will soon be moving to the Southeast. In the Earnings Call, it was reported that the feedback to date has been encouraging. In addition, it was divulged that development of a hybrid version of Elgin's most popular line of street sweepers, the Pelican, is now under way. The plug-in hybrid electric Pelican sweeper is assembled and undergoing testing with product demonstrations plan for the second half of this year.
Check out the Federal Signal Earnings Call in its entirety.
APWA's PWX Show in St. Louis Starting August 29th
The American Public Works Association has decided to go forward with its 2021 PWX show. After having to cancel last year due to the pandemic, APWA officials say they are "excited and eager to bring the public works community back together for an unforgettable show in St. Louis, MO."
If you can't attend in person, APWA is also offering an opportunity to attend its 'PWX Plus' virtual event at a reduced fee.
Check out the APWA's PWX Signup Page.
Australian Kayak Tour Designed to Pick Up Trash
'Sydney by Kayak' is an award-winning, family-owned kayak tour business. The founder, Laura Stone, says that in 2021 many locals are taking part in the company's now weekly cleanup tour in lieu of traveling and as a way to give back to the environment. In addition, Sydney by Kayak's guides and photographers are also committed to collecting a minimum of three pieces of rubbish per person, per tour, every single day – often collecting three bucket loads from the waterways and beaches!
After the company teamed up with North Sydney Council to run clean-up paddles with local businesses on Clean-up Australia Day, the feedback was "it would be great if we could do this more than once a year." So, Sydney by Kayak, North Sydney Council, the Better Business Partnership and Catfish Creative put their collective minds together to create what has become a weekly offering of clean-up Kayak Tours in North Sydney.
The weekly events run 1-2 hours and include all kayaking and clean-up equipment, plus a hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in one of the company's reusable coffee cups. Worldsweeper includes this information in hopes of inspiring other municipalities near the water to look into developing a similar program(s). If you do, or have done so already, be sure to let us know. Click on the photo below to view a brief video of one of the weekly events.