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Street Sweeping Pilot Study

The City of San Diego continues to explore new ways to help prevent storm water pollution. As part of this ongoing effort, the Storm Water Division conducted a pilot study of street sweeping options for neighborhoods adjacent to important waterways.

The study involved assessment of what kind of street sweeping equipment and sweeping frequency helped reduce the amount of pollutants on our roadways. Removing these pollutants keeps them from entering the storm drain system and flowing to our beaches and bays.

Phase V Sweeping Study


Storm Water Division is currently conducting Phase V of the Street Sweeping Pilot Programs. This Phase seeks to determine the feasibility, potential water quality benefits and cost-effectiveness of implementing limited parking restrictions to allow street sweepers greater access to the curb and gutter. This will help the City determine if larger scale parking restrictions will result in a greater amount of debris and pollutants removed by the sweepers throughout the City. Two residential neighborhoods in the Chollas watershed were chosen for this phase, Encanto and Emerald Hills, based on community interest, their proximity to sensitive waterways, parking availability and proximity to the City operations yard. Baseline data was collected during Fiscal Year 2014, and the parking restrictions are in effect during Fiscal Year 2015. The study is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015 and the results will be posted here.

Phase IV Sweeping Study


The Transportation & Storm Water Department recently completed a one-year pilot study to determine the optimal speed for operating the City's fleet of street sweepers in order to maximum their pollutant remove potential in an effort to improve the region's water quality. The results indicate that the City's current standard operational speed (6-12 mph) is the optimal speed for debris removal. For more information please refer to the final report."

Phase III Median Sweeping Study


The Storm Water Division completed a one-year pilot study evaluating the sweeping of center medians along high-traffic roadways to determine the potential water quality benefits and feasibility of sweeping these areas. Center medians are typically not swept as part of the City's standard sweeping practices. The results indicate that sweeping center medians has the potential to remove significant amounts of debris and pollutants from City roadways. For more information please refer to the final report.

Phase I and Phase II Sweeping Study


The initial phases of the pilot study were completed in 2010. The results indicate the effectiveness of vacuum and mechanical sweepers in collecting pollutants in optimizing load reductions as well as results regarding the sweeping frequency. For more information please refer to the final report.