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Environmentally-Related Sweeping Information

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Are U.S. Stormwater Managers Aware of the Effectiveness and Cost Benefits of Street Sweeping?

The instigation for this article was a letter received from Brian Giles, Elgin Sweeper Company's Sweeping Products Manager. Giles wrote to encourage the position WorldSweeper has taken in encouraging sweeper manufacturers to conduct independent testing designed to show the pickup capability of their respective sweeper models. With today's increasing regulatory emphasis on removal of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) from stormwater runoff, the stormwater management industry needs to know what today's street sweeper models can and cannot accomplish. Read the story.

We also have a variety of street sweeping studies located in our 'Street/Highway Sweeping' major site subsection. Use the quick link shown below to link to the studies page.

Quick Link to Studies

Power Sweeping Contractors: Leading in the Defense of Clean Water

The fact of the 21st century is that those who perform the duty of power sweeping are at the absolute forefront of removing the parking lot and roadway pollutants fouling the water supplies in so many of the communities in America and around the world. Read the story by's Editor.

The Role Street Sweeping Must Play in Achieving Numeric Pollutant Limits

In the November/December 2011 issue of Stormwater magazine noted sweeper researcher, Roger Sutherland, offered a guest editorial on the relationship between sweeping and stormwater runoff pollutant removal. Link is to the online version of the Stormwater magazine article. Read the story.

2013: Summer of Storm Drain Art?

Although not, strictly speaking, sweeping-related, finding ways to reduce stormwater pollution runoff has become the most emergent requirement for street sweeping. The links at these articles show what cities are doing to help that activity from the perspective of keeping storm drains from becoming garbage cans.Read and view the art.

Sweepers, The 'Miracle Pollution Reduction Machine'

California contractor shows the powerful pollution reduction characteristics sweepers provide. Even older broom machines likely pick up at least 500% more small micron, PM10-level debris than is emitted by their propulsion and auxiliary engines.Read the story.

Parking Area Sweeping for Lead Abatement in Kentucky

The management team of Kentucky's BEJA Environmental educates its customers on sweeping's ability to combat storm water runoff pollution and help industrial facility clients meet EPA benchmarks. Read the story.

A Comparison of Engine Particulate Output to Small-Micron Removal of Broom Sweepers

As part of the sweeping industry's information campaign to acquaint California Air Resource Board regulators with the relative benefits of power sweeping,'s editor provides a comparison of likely engine particulate output by broom sweepers to likely PM10 pickup. PDF format. Read the story.

Sweep Before You Treat

In this article reprinted from Storm Water Solutions, noted sweeper researcher, Roger Sutherland, explains the many reasons why sweeping is more than just a cosmetic practice. Read the story.

Dust Control for Sweepers: An International Perspective

There is new dust control information to be learned from this dialogue between sweeping pros in Alaska and Norway. Read the story.

Evaluation of Street Sweeping as a Stormwater-Quality-Management Tool in Three Residential Basins in Madison, Wisconsin

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, evaluated three street-sweeper technologies from 2002 through 2006 (released to 1.2008). Read the story.

A Proposed Methodology for Linking Control Effectiveness to Receiving Water Quality

A proposal to help link stormwater BMP control effectiveness for specific pollutants and flow to receiving water loadings, impacts and water quality objectives. Read the story.'s 'Sweeping as a BMP' Seminars Provided Info Not Generally Available to Pollution Managers

The seminars showcased how sweeping can best be used by stormwater pollution runoff programs. Read the story.

Using Recycled Water for Sweeping in Water-Conscious Inglewood, CA

Since late 2003, Inglewood has benefited from a creative method of allowing the street sweeping dust suppression tanks to fill from either a recycled water fill station or standard, domestic water, fire hydrants. Read the story.

EPA Stormwater Act Phase II: Opportunity for Sweepers

Overview on phase 2 of the USEPA's Stormwater Act, and how it may affect the sweeping industry. Read the story.

Port of Seattle Commissions Sweeping Study.

Seattle-based study by Roger Sutherland compares wet vault with high efficiency street sweeping using Schwarze EV-series sweeper. Read the story.

Los Angeles County Trash Collection BMPs.

This Report catalogues the various BMPs in use by Los Angeles County MS4 permittees as of late 2003/2004. Although it includes much more than just sweeping, the relative frequencies cited may be of assistance to others seeking the same type of information. Read the story.

Model Urban Runoff Report List of Storm Water Management Resources.

The referenced PDF file contains an extensive number of links to websites that may be useful to communities developing urban runoff programs. Read the story.

SIMPTM Diagnosis, A Technique for Accurate Urban Runoff Load Estimation

Roger Sutherland and Seth Jelen show how urban runoff load may be estimated accurately via their proprietary computer modeling software program. Reprinted from Water Environment & Technology, Vol. 15, No. 9, 2003, pp. 59-66, published by the Water Environment Federation. PDF file. Read the story.

EPA Tightens Clean Air Standards

Overview on EPA rules for air quality and stormwater runoff pollution. Read the story.

How Pavement Sweeping – for Parking Lots, Streets and on Construction Sites – Contributes to the Goals of World Water Day 2024

This article was written to commemorate the UN's World Water Day 2024. Read the many important reasons.

Sweepers Utilized for Runoff Pollution Prevention

In late summer and early fall, when many sweeping contractors are out mowing and landscaping, the need for street sweeping seems to lessen, except for after parades and festivals. But for storm water pollution prevention, this could not be further from the truth. Read the story.

English Sweeping Company, Veolia Environmental, Gleaning Precious Metals From Street Sweepings

Veolia Environmental – which currently has contracts to sweep streets in about 40 towns and cities around the U.K. and collects up to 165,000 tons of sweepings a year.– believes it can find at least £1 million (US $1.3 million) worth of materials including gold, platinum, palladium and rhodium from the rubbish it sweeps from Britain's streets each year. Read the story.

BMPs for Cleaning Pervious Concrete

Alan Sparkman is Executive Director of the Tennessee Concrete Association. In this linked article, he provides an overview of what his Association has learned about BMPs for keeping pervious concrete roadways and other expanses cleaned and, so, functionally operational. Read the story.

Toronto, Canada's, 'Clean Roads to Clean Air Program'

The City of Toronto is successfully implementing a street sweeping program that significantly contributes to meeting clean air and stormwater standards. In an audio interview, Dr. Morgan discusses Toronto's process in developing a methodolgy for evaluating sweeper efficiency and operational best practices. Interview was conducted in September of 2007. Includes pdf article reprinted from APWA Reporter's 9.07 edition. Read/Listen to the story.

Some California Municipalities Sharing Same Clean Water Program Manager

With the rise of complex regulations out west, some smaller cities find value in sharing a dedicated stormwater specialist. Read the story.

Stormwater Runoff Pollution: How is Sweeping Contributing to 'Better Roads?'

The editor of Better Roads magazine and each offer viewpoints on stormwater runoff pollution and sweeping, along with a sidebar analysis from industry veteran, Mark Kinter (now with Elgin; formerly with Tennant). Start the trilogy here.

Surveys From's 'Sweeping as a BMP' Seminars Provide Insight Into California Sweeping Programs

The survey results from's May 2006 seminars showcased how California cities and other agencies are currently sweeping. Read the story.

Air Quality Sweeper Testing

Analysis of mechanical broom sweepers relatively poor efficiency in terms of ability to improve air and water quality. Read the story.

A Proposed Method for Performance Testing

Veteran sweeper testing guru, Roger Sutherland, offers a method for testing relative sweeper efficiencies. Read the story.

A Clean Sweep is Now Possible

Terrene Institute's 1998 study tests sweeper efficiency using mechanical, vacuum-assisted, high efficiency and tandem sweeping. Read the story.

Stormwater Runoff: Obstacle or Opportunity?

Discussion of the opportunities that the Clean Water Act has produced for U.S. sweeping contractors. Read the story.

Judging the Equivalency of New Treatment BMPs

2001 article discusses the relative efficiency of Schwarze's EV-series, high efficiency sweepers in pavement cleaning. Read the story.

Sweeping for Water Quality

Results of an Alameda County study investigating ways to increase the effectiveness of street sweeping as a water pollution control measure. Read the story.

Contrary to Conventional Wisdom: Street Sweeping Can Be an Effective BMP

Article by Roger Sutherland and Seth Jelen reprinted from Advances in Modeling the Management of Stormwater Impacts, Volume 5, 1997. PDF file format. Read the story.

To Sweep Or Not To Sweep...

A water quality activist, a public works director and the head of the region's water quality board discuss whether municipal 'opt-out' programs, specifically in Oakland and Berkeley, CA, compromise the EPA's Clean Water Act. Read the story.

City of San Jose Comparison of Sweepers

(2001 study of regenerative air vs. mechanical broom sweeper types by Woodward-Clyde Consultants), Consultants for San Jose, CA, produce a study of the relative efficiency of sweeping equipment. Read the story.

Other environmental-related sweeper studies are available in the Street Sweeping/Municipal Studies Section of the website.

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