Have you ever wondered why there seem to be a lot of street sweepers on the road as cold weather approaches? Although you might get frustrated if you have to wait behind those slow-moving sweeping trucks, the fact of the matter is that they can make your life a lot easier down the road. Here are three reasons that street sweeping is especially important before winter hits, and how they might protect you from a few extra hassles.
1: Leaf Removal
If you had to guess, how many pounds of debris do you think street sweepers are capable of collecting from city roads in a year? 1,000 pounds? 5,000 pounds? Believe it or not, the city of San Diego picks up around 220,000 pounds each and every year. In addition to picking up garbage and construction debris, street sweepers are instrumental in removing the millions of dead leaves that scatter roadways each autumn.
Although it might not seem like a dire emergency to have leaves sucked away, they can actually cause a few serious issues if they are left laying around. Dead leaves can swarm into storm drains, causing serious clogs and altering the ability of the system to reroute water. Unfortunately, when water doesn't have a place to go, it can cause flooding or freeze all over roadways.
Fortunately, street sweepers use highly-effective mechanical brooms to remove leaves, so that you don't have to deal with all of the trouble that clogged waterways can cause.
2: Sweepers Pick Up Debris that Could be Hidden Later
When you are in the middle of your commute, nothing is more frustrating than driving over a piece of debris and feeling one of your tires pop. Sometimes, you might not even know about wheel damage until you try to leave for work a few days later, only to discover a flat tire created by a slow leak from an embedded screw. Although you might be able to swerve to miss strange road debris during the summer, winter weather makes it harder to spot and avoid dangerous objects.
When snow covers the streets, you might not even see that sharp nail hidden beneath the fluffy stuff. Slick roads can also make it more difficult to miss debris, even if you are fortunate enough to detect problems ahead of time. If you try to navigate around roadway garbage, icy roads might lead you to end up in a ditch.
However, if your city decides to dispatch street sweepers before the dead of winter, you might not have to worry as much about hidden debris. Modern street sweepers are capable of picking up particles as small as 10 nanometers, which is about as small as the width of a single cotton fiber. Street sweepers make it possible to focus on the road without having to stress about running over sharp plastic fragments.
3: Air Quality
During the winter, air quality can suffer. Because bad weather forces people indoors and can make it impossible for folks to walk or ride their bikes to work, air pollution can run rampant. Exhaust and oil droplets from cars can cover the roadway, where it can be kicked up to disrupt the air quality. When winter inversions trap pollution close to the ground, you might be forced to suffer with respiratory problems or aggravated allergies during the cold months.
However, street sweepers can help to reduce roadway pollution. In fact, one study found that modern street sweepers fitted with particulate vacuums were capable of reducing nonpoint roadway pollution by as much as 80%. As those bulky machines run up and down your city streets, they help to remove microscopic heavy metal particles and chemicals before they have the chance to cause problems.
Understanding the importance of seasonal street sweeping, like those offered at USA Services of Florida, might help you to be a little more patient, and support city decisions to invest in extra machines.