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Street sweepers passing through this fall

Post Date:10/05/2018 2:04 PM

Many Richfield residents have noticed the street sweeping activity around town this week. Weather depending, the Public Works Department will have three sweepers running daily until the snow flies. 

The sweepers will end up covering all streets at least four times. 

Public Works encourages residents and neighbors to move their cars when the street sweepers are in their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the department doesn’t have the time or resources to post no-parking signs throughout town ahead of the sweepers.

Areas that were missed due to a car or obstruction are almost always swept in a subsequent pass by the sweeper.

The early October sweep occurring now is characterized as a “pre-sweep.”  The pre-sweep removes dirt and debris from the streets before the leaves start to fall, in earnest.  

The City of Richfield has an agreement with Fort Snelling Cemetery to take our leaves.  The cemetery uses the leaves for their operations and will not accept sweepings with large amounts of dirt and garbage.

According to Chris Link, Richfield Public Works Operations Superintendent, “If sweeping crews waited until Halloween to sweep leaves, it would be almost impossible to collect all the leaves and sweep the entire city.”

Sweeping on wet days is the most efficient, so the damp early October weather we have been experiencing has been perfect conditions to start fall sweeping operations. 

If the streets are dry, city water trucks wet the streets before the sweepers pass. This helps with dust control, and when the debris is wet, sweepers can pick up more and reduce the amount of times needed to dump debris and leaves, all making for a more efficient operation.  

Outside of leave collection, sweeping is good for picking up sand/soil/sediment, which phosphorus attaches to and ends up in our local surface waters. 

Phosphorus is an essential element for plant life, but when excess phosphorus gets into lakes, rivers, streams and ponds it speeds up plant/weed/algae growth. As plant growth increases, they will use up more of the oxygen in the water and limit what else is able to live in the water body (fish, other beneficial plants, etc.) resulting in degraded water quality.

“Thorough street sweeping is a priority for Richfield as part of our storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) and also simply for the fact that what enters our storm sewer system will ultimately end up in nearby waterways and the Mississippi River,” said Link. “Every little bit helps, from our street sweeping operation to our salting strategy in the winter months. It all makes a difference.”

For more info about the our street sweeping efforts call the Public Works Department at 612-861-9170 or to see the street sweeping progress map visit: http://www.richfieldmn.gov/departments/public-works/operations-streets-parks-fleet-maintenance/street-sweeping
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