Environmental Information for Sweeping Professionals
Best Practices Investigation Between Officials in Anchorage, Alaska and Drammen, NorwayEditor's Introduction:
In late 2007 WorldSweeper.com published a story about how sweeping is done in Drammen, Norway. Information for the coverage had been provided by Arild Moen, that city's Chief Engineer for Municipal Enterprises. It included some of the environmental issues facing the coastal city, and the actions that Drammen officials have taken toward abatement of the problems.
After he read the article, Lawrence Taylor, Jr., QEP Program Manager for the Air Quality Monitoring and Testing Section of Anchorage, Alaska, contacted me to get the contact info he needed to follow up with Moen. The following are excerpts from the letter Taylor sent to Moen, with Moen's return comments (in blue) shown after each question. I have edited some of Moen's comments for 'clarity in translation.'
Dear Mr. Moen:
We are evaluating the use of magnesium chloride as a hygroscopic (atmospheric moisture attracting) agent to hold down the silt until it can be swept up. We also have seen that after sweeping a lot of silt remains on the road, so we are evaluating using magnesium chloride to keep the silt in place so that it can dissipate gradually. The city has a number of belt (mechanical broom) sweepers and has also bought a waterless broom sweeper with low air emissions.
These are my questions:
2. What are the pros and cons of these controls, i.e.,:
2A. Are fines left behind by street sweepers?
2B. Do you use de-icing chemicals and what are they?
2c. Do you use chemical dust suppression?
3. How do you ensure the quality of your dust control?
4. How effective are the controls?
5. Are there improvements that you see as the next step in Drammen to do a better job controlling ambient dust?
6. What can you tell me about the cost of dust control?
One thing we're looking at is the possibility of washing vehicles from construction/building sites before allowing them to enter back on to public roads.
The program using MgCl was stopped (at one point) waiting for the results of friction investigations. The friction testing results were that the effect from using normal quantities of MgCl (Up to 54 grams of MgCl per square meter) was negligible. We expect that oil spill and/or exhaust-film from heavy vehicles have made an influence on friction conditions during the mishaps, perhaps in combination with hazardous behavior on the part of the drivers. Our decision was to continue the MgCl program.
MgCl are known to be more corrosive than NaCl. For this reason, the Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA) limits the use of MgCl for dust suppression purposes in some city areas, included Drammen.
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