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Winter maintenance leadership is the group responsible for hands-on efforts and operation management. This group includes the individuals in charge of the shop facilities, selling winter maintenance services, determining the type of pavement overlays, or organizing the “getting ready for winter” refresher training. This group does not include the plow drivers or their direct supervisors.

Winter maintenance leadership is a very diverse group that plays a variety of roles across many organizations. Their influence is significant and they have great potential to positively impact reductions in salt use. This group can advocate for change by understanding the economic benefits of salt reduction, including the direct cost savings as a result of using less salt.

The following table presents example activities and timelines for winter maintenance leadership to consider. Throughout implementation, goals and practices should be reviewed, assessed, and adaptively updated to reduce the use of chloride. Examples presented in this section include specific possible actions. However, these actions are intended to be examples and are not meant to put emphasis on the specific actions. Each entity will need to assess the most relevant and cost-effective actions to take in their situation to reduce salt loadings. 

Examples of Implementation Strategies for Winter Maintenance Leadership
Link to this table

Assessment Items Goals Actions
Does salt leave storage sites in ways not intended? No salty runoff water from salt sheds. Storage sheds 1, 2, 4 are ok. Re-grade floor of storage shed 3 so water that enters the shed stays in shed.
Do customers know that salt harms the environment and that improved practices are being implemented to reduce salt use yet provide great service? Give all customers the opportunity to learn about efforts to reduce salt. Meet or talk to all customers when bidding on work explaining approaches to winter maintenance and environmental protection (private contractors) or run cable TV infomercials about salt reduction reasons and strategies during November (municipal).
Do trucks contribute salt to the truck wash water? Re-use 50% of winter truck wash water for brine making or have less salt on truck prior to entering the wash. Install filter system to remove wash water oils and solids, install tank to capture wash water, integrate filtered wash water in brine making system or Install a truck cleaning station before the truck wash to encourage thorough truck emptying in an area where granular salt can be easily reclaimed.
Which organizations have been most successful in reducing salt and what are the lessons learned? Identify outstanding success in areas of interest (i.e. storage buildings, contracts that don’t bill by the ton, using non-traditional plow drivers to get 24 hour coverage). Look at Clear Roads research, Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) research, APWA research, AASHTO research, attend the Freshwater Society’s annual Road Salt Symposium and other winter maintenance conferences to identify the leaders. Talk to them directly.
Are lower salt use pavements being installed (permeable, heated, narrower)? Find some sort of pavement surface that requires 20% less salt on it. Install permeable asphalt in parking lot near "Smith" lake.
Is payment based on amount of salt applied? Have a profitable contract without billing by the ton which encourages overuse of salt. Look at SIMA website for example contracts that do not charge by volume.
Is concern over liability resulting in over applying salt? See if other states have a law to reduce liability for private companies doing winter maintenance. Encourage legislators to look at New Hampshire’s law that limits liability of private contractors in winter maintenance.


Example: Years 1-2

  • Better understand the impacts of salt on the environment and how organization may contribute.
  • Create a chart of items to investigate that may reduce salt use/waste. Consider creating a list of items to be assessed, including goals, actions, and priorities.
  • Visit the Snow and Ice Management Association website for example contracts that do not charge by volume.
  • Encourage legislators to look at New Hampshire’s law that limits liability of private contractors in winter maintenance.

Watch a video: This video, produced by the MWMO and the UMN, is used to train seasonal and full-time property employees as well as business owners, front desk staff and anyone else who needs to control snow and ice in or near entrances and on sidewalks-

Example: Years 3-5

  • Install truck cleaning station before truck wash and provide training for proper use.
  • Provide training for crew on how to monitor pavement temperatures, calibrate equipment, chose deicer’s that will work best based on pavement temperatures.
  • Revise contracts to avoid billing by the ton and stay profitable, meet with them for ideas.
  • Educate customers about winter maintenance strategies.

Example: Years 6-10

  • Re-grade floor of storage shed #3.
  • Install permeable asphalt in parking lot near “Smith” Lake

This page was last edited on 18 May 2017, at 20:11.

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