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One of the best BMPs that a facility can employ is site sweeping and trash/debris pickup. We harp on this a lot because source control and good housekeeping can make a big impact on your stormwater sampling results. At least 75% of the ERA Level 1 evaluations we do result in a recommendation for increased site sweeping. Especially for Total Suspended Solids (TSS) issues and particulate metal exceedances (e.g. zinc and copper) in industrial stormwater, good housekeeping via site sweeping works extremely well.


There are a few options to do site sweeping:

  1. Manual sweeping with a push broom and dust pan.
  2. Use a shop vac or drum vac plus broom.
  3. Buy, lease, or hire a street sweeper (regenerative air to vacuum only to floor scrubber).

How do you know the best way to succeed? Tough to tell, because every site (size, budget constraints, amount of sediment, etc.) is different. However, I am a big fan of regenerative air street sweepers, because of their ability to get in all the cracks and crevices on industrial sites. Note: Floor scrubbers work well on sites that have metal issues (very small particulates) on concrete with minimal cracks for a deep clean. However, they are not a general purpose solution. Street sweepers on the other hand can help out on most sites.

Regenerative air street sweepers work by blasting a bit of air onto the pavement (and into the cracks), loosening the trapped dirt. At the same time, the suction head of the vacuum pulls the debris into the hopper where the dust and debris are separated out. Clean air is returned to the ground surface to fight the good fight again. Tymco (no they are not a sponsor, but I like good info) has a pretty concise write-up on the process. Elgin is also another manufacturer worth checking out.

Need help with stormwater BMPs? Have stormwater exceedances? Get help by scheduling a free consultation.