Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Warm weather turns attention to catch basins

Crews use steam to remove snow and ice from catch basins  
Although spring is right around the corner and we haven’t had a significant snowfall in Calgary for weeks, don’t be surprised if you see snow removal equipment in your community.

While the warm weather trend has continued throughout February, low overnight temperatures have led to a freeze-thaw cycle. This has created icy patches on the roads, especially around storm drains, also known as catch basins.

As a result, Roads and Water crews are out doing work to clear roads and catch basins as well as address water pooling concerns. These include:
  • Clearing the area around catch basins with a grader so that water can run into it.
  • Moving ice from the shady side of the street to the sunny side, where it can melt.
  • Addressing concerns of water pooling that can cause property damage or safety issues.
A blocked catch basin
Residents are encouraged to clear blocked storm drains from snow, ice or debris. If water is covering the storm drain and you can’t see the top of it, or if it’s too difficult to chip away the ice fill out a 311 Service request.

Calgarians are also encouraged to contact 311 if they see ice on the road that is blocking the flow of water to a catch basin or, if it is safe to do so, clear the channel along the gutter themselves. This way, when crews are out pre-sweeping the roads, we won’t have to worry about icy gutters.

Snow budget savings

Although road maintenance work has continued despite the lack of snow, we have seen significant savings on materials use, such as gravel, and overtime wages.

In 2015, we came in $2 million under our Snow and Ice Control (SNIC) budget. That money has now been put into the SNIC reserve fund which can be accessed in future winters with above-average snowfalls.

For additional information about snow and ice control in our city or to submit a concern to 311, visit Calgary.ca/snow.

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