SDOT Equipment Operator Seang Ngy is on the front lines of the city’s efforts to keep our streets and water systems clean. Seang drives an SDOT Street Sweeper covering nearly 30 miles on his route through the Rainier Valley. One of SDOT’s goals is reducing stormwater pollution from Seattle streets; Seang and his fellow crew members helped remove 131 dry tons of pollutants from Seattle roadways last year.
Since 2011, a unique SDOT – Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) partnership has sought to lessen these impacts by street sweeping arterials that directly impact water quality. Last year the street sweeping team covered well over 10,000 broom miles. In that span, 131 dry tons of pollutants were removed at anywhere from 4 to 10 times less cost than conventional water quality infrastructure. SDOT and SPU will expand from its current 33 to 43 routes in 2016.
Without intervention, pollutants like motor oil, copper, and zinc are found in the dirt and sludge located under cars would end up one of two places: 1) washed into storm drains that carry to local waters like Lake Washington; or 2) kicked back up into the air by tire action on the street. To ask about street sweeping, call (206) 684-ROAD, (206) 684-7623.
Thanks to Brian Hutchinson from SPU for contributing to this blog post.