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    Credit: Elgin Sweeper Co.

    EPA recognizes street sweepers as a tool for reducing pollution. To help reduce water pollution using sweepers, it is recommenced to sweep often, were dirt is, prior to rain events and to sweep dry to remove fines.

4. Waterless dust control mechanical

How it works: These sweepers have a small fan and filter system that evacuate the dust created by the brooms and capture it in a filter, rather than relying on wetting the dust.

Major benefits: They pick up bulky material down to fine particles without using water for dust control, enabling them to be used for sweeping in freezing weather or industrial applications such as removing water-reactive compounds like cement.

Potential drawbacks: Because they have both mechanical systems and a fan/filter system, they are more costly and complex to maintain than mechanical-only sweepers.

5. Reduced-water dust control regenerative

How it works: While not completely waterless, filtered regenerative air sweepers provide the efficiencies and simplicity of regenerative technology.

Major benefits: Positively captures much of the fine dust that often continues to circulate through the regenerative loop, allowing for significantly less water to control ambient dust and lubricate the impeller.

Potential drawbacks: Because these sweepers have a fan/filter system, they are more costly and complex to maintain than regenerative-only sweepers.

Brian Giles (bgiles@elginsweeper.com) is sweeper products manager of Elgin Sweeper (www.elginsweeper.com) in Elgin, Ill.


Best sweepers for 6 applications

The best path to choosing the right street sweeper is to determine your community’s prevailing needs in terms of debris removal, maneuverability, transport speed, and off-loading requirements.The good news is that you don’t have to choose between cleaner streets or cleaner air and water. You can have both by selecting the technology best-suited to your specific street and debris conditions.

Cleaning catch basins regularly prevents streets from flooding and keeps the rain runoff flowing as desired, so some public works departments combine it with street sweeping.When equipped with a boom-style hose or catch basin cleaning hose feature, regenerative air sweepers and pure vacuum sweepers lift leaves, silt, sand, gravel, and litter out of the basin.The boom-style hose options are easy to operate and maneuver over a catch basin. Because pure vacuum sweepers have more vacuum capability than a regenerative sweeper, the municipal customer needs to take this into consideration when sizing up their catch basin applications. Combination sweeper/catch basin cleaners are excellent alternatives to a hand-held hose or litter hose.

Leaves, pine cones, and pine needles tend to climb over brooms when extremely heavy, making loading difficult. Their wide pick-up head, large-diameter suction hose, and ability to raise/lower the head hydraulically make regenerative air sweepers and mechanical sweepers the best choices for this application.

The amount of pervious asphalt and concrete streets and roads has grown at a double-digit rate the last several years as a best management practice for dealing with stormwater runoff. These surfaces reduce the amount of untreated water and accompanying pollutants directed into waterways.Performing routine, bi-annual cleaning with a regenerative air sweeper or high-power vacuum sweeper is a practical approach to properly maintain a permeable surface. High vacuums can pull out embedded debris that’s plugging the drainage path because of its high concentrated vacuum levels, which exceed that of a regenerative air sweeper. A high-power vacuum sweeper also works well for porous pavement restoration projects.

Click here for “The five do’s and don’ts of pervious asphalt.”

Sand, gravel, silt, salt and traction sand often accumulate in Northern climates over the winter. This material is often very heavy and compacted and requires a powerful broom and conveyance action. Mechanical sweepers are best suited for conveying large quantities of heavy material.

Waterless with dust control: good for dusty environments, or where dried sand and salt may produce dust when sweepingMechanical: Cities and counties in cold climates with freezing temperatures need to sweep sand, gravel, silt, traction sand, salt residue, and cinder year-round. Given the possibility of freezing, both to the street and sweeper components, this type of sweeping shouldn’t be done with water.

—Brian Giles (bgiles@elginsweeper.com) is sweeper products manager of Elgin Sweeper (www.elginsweeper.com) in Elgin, Ill.