Environmental Issues At the Heart of Street Sweeping

Street sweeping at its essence involves environmental issues. Caring for the streets by removing trash and debris and cleaning up after events are important parts of the job.

Environmental issues can be escalated when street sweeping isn’t done properly. Runoff into storm sewers is a big issue.  In Utah we need to protect our watershed.
Debris can back up storm drains, and not allow the precious water to quickly enter the system to be recycled properly. Plus, the debris gets washed into the street, creating hazards for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Recently Jacketta Sweeping handled the cleanup after the special event, Color Me Rad 5K road race. A race to celebrate having fun, Color Me Rad delivers fun in almost Technicolor. Participants get a white t-shirt, and at intervals during the race, they get pummeled with color. The idea is to get as much paint and color on the clothes and body as possible, just for sheer enjoyment. It seems better than playing with mud pies. Jacketta Sweeping Cleans Up from Color Me Rad Race

While Jacketta’s sweepers didn’t run in the race, many of us got color anyway on Race Day. This is always a fun event for us, and makes street sweeping just a bit more fun than usual.

Again this year, we were the race sweeping company, and needed to clean up after the race. Given the fragile nature and critical importance of our watershed, Jacketta Sweeping had to take extra care to make sure we kept the colored cornstarch out of the storm water system. The race organizers are always aware of environmental issues and seek to avoid them.

While the color is actually a non-toxic cornstarch that is dyed to the amazing hues, our job is to keep as much of it as possible out of the storm drain system. It’s a precaution not to overload as well as keep the dyes out of the water.

Some of the extra precautions we took to prevent problems included:

  • Covered all the storm drains with plastic before race day
  • Swept entire race route, not just powder stations
  • Blew color powder off sidewalks and lawns
  • Sucked water out of gutters, the wet station and anywhere else along the route it was necessary

Salt Lake City storm water management folks monitored our activity, and we met all their criteria for the race.

Street sweeping is inherently a local job, and Jacketta’s employees and staff live in this community. We take pride in doing our job well. Our goal is to be constantly be aware of mitigating potential environmental issues.


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