Aug 19, 2019

A Double-Duty Sweeper

Ohio River community leverages versatility of street sweeping equipment.

Schwarze Native
Marietta’s A7 Turbo from Schwarze Industries is the city’s preferred equipment for catch basin cleaning.

Situated along the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers, the small city of Marietta, Ohio focuses on reducing the sediment and debris that enter its waterways. According to Streets Superintendent Todd Stockel, a crucial part of those efforts is the city’s street sweeper.

Street Sweeping

The Marietta Streets Department has divided the city into five sections for street sweeping, Stockel said. During the springtime months, when the temperature may not be warm enough to complete any one section at a time, “we’ll stay in one location until we sweep … every street on that location before we move onto the next one,” he explained. 

In May, with summer weather in sight, Marietta launches its five-day street sweeping schedule, which covers one section per day Monday through Thursday, and ends with overnight sweeping of the business district Thursday night and into Friday morning. The schedule stays consistent throughout the summer, Stockel said, allowing residents to plan ahead and move their cars to the other side of the street on their neighborhood’s designated day.

Catch Basin Cleaning

Catch basin hose
The A7 Tornado’s catch basin hose and spray wand attachments help Marietta’s Streets Department clean out storm drains.

The city uses an A7 Tornado street sweeper from Schwarze Industries, which also has a catch basin hose attachment. According to Stockel, the biggest challenge the city faces when it comes to its catch basins is leaves. “We have a massive amount of trees that lose leaves,” he said. Although Marietta offers leaf pickup over a six-week period in the late fall, and works to educate the public on placing the leaves between the curb and sidewalk so they stay out of the streets, some of the leaves—along with some salt and sand from the city’s snow removal efforts—make it into the storm drains. 

The city of Marietta has a sewer vac truck, but the Streets Department has found the street sweeper to be its preferred equipment for catch basin cleaning. One of the primary reasons is size. The sewer vac truck is “problematic to get into the tight corners throughout the city of Marietta,” Stockel said. “All our streets are accessible to the street sweeper.”

Stockel describes the street sweeper as a “workhorse” due its abilities to perform both street sweeping and catch basin cleaning. He noted that the A7 Tornado’s spray wand attachment help “drastically” with the cleaning efforts. “If it’s dried up, you can wet the product down, wet the sand down, and make it more … pliable to come out of the storm drain altogether,” he said.

A Vital Resource

The use of the street sweeper for both sweeping and catch basin cleaning goes a long way toward keeping sediment and debris out of local waterways, and therefore helping the city to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. It is a piece of equipment Stockel doesn’t feel the city could do without. “It’s relied upon very heavily in our schedule and maintenance program in addition to what it does throughout the summer months on its scheduled street sweeping, so it’s vital,” he said. 

To view a video case study of this article, or to learn more about how Schwarze street sweepers are a cost effective BMP for storm water management, visit http://schwarze.com/stormwater

About the author

Schwarze Industries offers power sweeping equipment and patching and asphalt repair units.