Street sweeping (also called street cleaning) refers to removal of sediment, litter, or other accumulated substances on roadways, particularly in urban and suburban areas. Street sweeping does not include removal of large quantities of leaves brought to the street/verge for removal, large debris or bulky items; removal of these items is typically handled by large vacuum leaf collectors or dump trucks, respectively.
Modern street sweeping has improved efficiency of debris removal from roadways dramatically. The focus of street sweeping was simple large “cosmetic” debris removal until the 1970s when concerns about water quality arose. In the decades following, improvements in street sweeping technology focused more on the removal and collection of coarse sand particle-sized street dirt, and smaller particles which contribute to instream sediment and nutrient pollution when swept off of or washed into waterways. More recently, there has been a focus on street sweeping to remove the organic matter produced by street trees (leaves, seeds, flowers, etc), which can contribute significant amounts of phosphorus to runoff, especially in the fall during leaf drop. Particulate matter (air) also poses significant air-quality concerns when entrained in the air due to wind.
This page contains links to pages that provide information on street sweeping for water quality.
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This page was last edited on 16 February 2023, at 17:54.