Vancouver’s Smart Snow Concept for Sewer Systems and Roadways

Vancouver is growing quickly and that means the sewer systems are at a greater capacity. It also means there is also a greater need for infrastructures to be reanalyzed and retrofitted, in many cases. Vancouver’s expansion includes multi-dimensional housing, with heightened demands to accommodate residents with a well-constructed drainage system. The intricate, higher framed buildings are engineered with more detailed construction concerns. These concerns include from flooding sewer systems and catch basins and how these systems may affect the environment. In the winter months, snow-clearing hazards along with the need for more space in Vancouver’s neighborhoods becomes the main focus. Residents are encouraged to help melt water runoff into the storm sewer system and reduce flooding problems by clearing snow around the catch basins surrounding their property. The city also recommends ensuring that slopes on any grading around homes move downward, away from the foundation, in order to reduce the likelihood of rain seeping inside. These measures are to be taken to ensure safety in and around your home.

Something else to consider: there have been several recent reports examining the environmental impact of road salt on ecosystems- in British Columbia, as well as other cities. The vast majority of municipalities are working to address the environmental issues that salt has on the environment when used as a de-icing mechanism. The water will flow straight into the storm sewer system and then into the waterways. Recently, both Vancouver and Toronto have established the use of alternatives to de-icing compounds, using safer methods, with a less harmful impact on the environment than road salt. The City of Vancouver has already used more than 7,000 tons of salt this winter, which is seven times the amount normally used in winter.

Interesting fact: did you know? Several cities are starting to use using beet juice on roads before the snow arrives. Or, mixing the juice in with salt to make their de-icing processes more effective.


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