Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping
Pollution prevention and good housekeeping involves improving or protecting water quality by altering municipal or facility operations. The Town of Southeast will ensure that Town practices with respect to operations of its Highway Department and any other department protect water quality by developing programs to prevent pollutants from reaching protected waterbodies. A salt shed was constructed in 1999 and the Town will continue to participate in the County hazardous materials pick-up program twice per year.
The Town Highway Department currently employs various measures to reduce stormwater runoff and to protect water quality.
During winter de-icing, the Highway Department uses a mixture of 70% sand, 30% salt along with a prewetted calcium chloride flake and calcium liquid mixture. This reduced salt mixture enables the Town to maintain its roads in a safe winter driving condition while reducing the amount of salt that is applied to the roadways.
In the spring, cleaning of the Town's roads helps limit impacts to stormwater runoff from sediment remaining on the roadways. The Town Highway Department operates two sweepers and one "vac-all" truck for this purpose. The basins closest to the Town's reservoirs and curbed roads are swept first, as these areas are more sensitive. The vac truck operator performs inspections of all basins and roads at the same time. Catch basins, which function as "entrance chambers" to a storm sewer are intended to retain sediment. By trapping coarse sediment, the basin prevents solids from clogging the storm sewer or being washed into receiving waters. The vac truck clears the basins of this collected sediment.
Street sweeping is an important component of the work of the Highway Department in the Town of Southeast. Clean streets and gutters not only give the Town an overall clean appearance, but also provides important nonpoint source pollution control. Street sweeping is typically performed during the spring snowmelt to reduce pollutant loads from road salt and to reduce sand export to receiving waters. The street sweep takes about six weeks beginning in March, depending on weather conditions. Throughout the six weeks, every road in the Town is swept twice, including the Gold Lot commuter parking lot and the 650-space parking lot at the Metro North Railroad station at Southeast.
Roadside ditches can contribute significant sediment to runoff, both from channelization and erosion within the ditch and accumulated sediment and other fine debris from the road surface. In the Town, sediment in ditches and swales are cleaned through mechanical means, including backhoes and shovels.
Repair & Restoration
After street and ditch cleaning take place, the Highway Department restores and repairs areas damaged in the winter months. This involves the stabilization and reseeding of slopes.