News Flash

City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: December 27, 2021

Proper Snow Removal & Storage Limits Waterway Impacts

Snow Storage NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-December 27, 2021-With nearly a foot of snow falling in the Yampa Valley and more snow in the forecast as a series of storms roll through this week, residential and commercial snow removal and storage could have long lasting effects if not done properly. As snow piles grow across the city, they collect trash, vehicle oil, fuel, sediment and scoria. 

“You don’t often think about it when trying to deal with snow, but how we remove and store snow from our property could potentially release pollutants into our creeks and river,” said Water Resources Manager Julie Baxter. “We’re asking folks to be aware this potential during snow removal operations.”  

Many of firms and residents use powerful machines to assist moving and storing the more than 20 feet of powder on average the valley can receive in a season. This equipment has the potential to release oil, fuel, or other liquids, which as the snow melts can make its way to local waterways. 

The city requires the following practices to be implemented when plowing and storing snow.

  • Snow shall not be plowed directly into a waterway. If plowed snow is allowed to enter a waterway directly or incidentally, it is considered a violation of city’s municipal code. 
  • Snow is allowed to be stored above a stream bank if it is not overspilling into a creek or river.
  • As snow storage piles melt, trash must be picked up and disposed of properly.
  • Plowing equipment must be maintained throughout the winter to prevent fluid leaks. If leaks are detected, they must be addressed and cleaned up immediately. Drip pans may be necessary for persistent leaks.
  • If equipment is being fueled on site, care must be given to prevent spills. If spills occur, they must be cleaned up immediately.  

“It’s important that we pay attention throughout the winter since these pollutants can have lasting effects on your property as well as our creeks and river,” continued Stormwater Specialist and Engineering Inspector Scott Slamal. “It’s a long season, so we appreciate everyone’s help in protecting our watershed.” 

-WeServeTheCity-

Contact
Scott Slamal, Stormwater Specialist and Engineering Inspector, 970.871.8236 or email
Julie Baxter, Water Resources Manager, 970.871.8267 or email
Michael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email

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