News Flash

City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: January 3, 2024

Proper Snow Removal & Storage Limits Waterway Impacts

Snow-Stormwater NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-January 3, 2024-With several feet of snow already blanketing the Yampa Valley this winter and more to come as early as Thursday of this week, it’s important to remember that residential and commercial snow removal and storage could have long lasting effects if not done properly. 

“Melting snow is stormwater water too. Snow picks up debris, chemicals, and other pollutants that can end up in our streams and river,” said Water Resources Manager Julie Baxter. “We’re asking everyone to keep this in mind this winter and pay attention to where you put your snow.”  

Many contractors and residents use powerful machines to assist moving and storing the more than 20 feet of powder on average the city receives 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. In addition, de-icing chemicals and salts should be used judiciously. Property owners should apply only what is required to make walkways and driveways safe and never near waterways. 

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

  • Do not plow snow 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.
  • Avoid piling snow on storm drains. Make sure your nearest storm drains are clear to avoid flooding.
  • As snow storage piles melt, trash must be picked up and disposed of properly.
  • Plowing equipment must be maintained 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 and hopefully snowy season, so we appreciate everyone’s help in protecting our watershed.” 


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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