Street Sweeping Study

Project summary

The Public Works Department has a fleet of 8 street sweeping trucks.  These vehicles remove dust, dirt, oils, and organic materials from city streets.  Street sweeping has traditionally focused on public safety, aesthetics, pavement preservation, and drainage system maintenance.  The Water Quality Group performed a study to find out how this service might impact the health of our local creeks and streams. The study found that street sweeping does benefit water quality in a number of ways. 

Water Quality Staff sampled the waste collected by street sweepers on two occasions.  Lab results indicated that road debris contains high amounts of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and metals (copper and zinc).  These substances are harmful to water quality and would otherwise be washed into storm drains during rain.  Pollutant removal with street sweeping is also economical.  Street sweeping eliminates more pollutants than many other methods for every dollar spent.  This information is helpful for the City to remain compliant with its NPDES MS4 permit and to meet the goals of other pollution reduction programs.

Project Manager

Jim Azarelo

Phone: 919-560-4326 ext. 30210

Street sweeping truck dumping debris onto pavement

Relevant documents

Street Sweeping Study Report

status: project complete

Project Phases

  • Project development and review, 2018
  • Sample collection and data analysis, 2018-2019
  • Final study report, 2020