Urban Street Sweeping
Streets are a major component of urban impervious cover, particularly in our cities. There are more miles of streets and highways than streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Streets are directly connected impervious cover and are often pollutant hotspots. Streets are owned and/or controlled by state and local governments who are responsible for maintaining them over time. What pollutant reduction opportunities are possible if we re-think how we maintain our streets?
Frequent street sweeping of the dirtiest roads and parking lots within a community can be an effective strategy to pick up nutrients and sediments from street surfaces before they can be washed off in stormwater runoff. But which streets are the dirtiest and are there other strategies that can fall under this category that would allow for the removal of pollutants from our streets, i.e., catch basin cleanout programs, storm drain outfall catchers, culvert cleanout programs etc.
In March 2011, an Expert Panel came up with a set of recommendations for this BMP which can be accessed below. In the Fall of 2013, the USWG reconvened the Expert Panel to revisit the crediting approach for this restoration activity.
On May 19, 2016 the Management Board of the Chesapeake Bay Program accepted the Final Recommendations of the Expert Panel to Define Removal Rates for Street and Storm Drain Cleaning Practices. This means this BMP now has new removal rates and qualifying conditions associated with it. Download the full report below to find out what you need to do/know to take this credit and stay tuned for a new fact sheet shortly. Congratulations and thank you to the expert panel for all of their hard work on this incredibly important restoration approach!