Last time we talked about: new de-icing products that are better alternatives to sand and traditional rock salt; ways to increase traction, like birdseed; a way to decrease drifting snow, tree fences; and ways to reduce your use of de-icing material, like shoveling quickly!
Here are some more lake-friendly snow removal strategies.
Permeable Pavers and Asphalt
By now you may have already read on this blog about the many benefits of installing permeable pavers and permeable asphalt. But one aspect of permeable pavement I find particularly intriguing is that reliable sources (see this pdf document from the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center ) report that these surfaces require 75% LESS de-icing material than traditional surfaces. Because permeable asphalt quickly absorbs any surface water, black ice does not form as readily. In addition, the warmth from the soil in the ground can rise to the surface. And plowing can be much more effective on porous asphalt — as seen in these photos from the University of New Hampshire. The top photo is traditional pavement on the UNH stormwater center testing lot, one hour after plowing. The bottom photo is porous asphalt one hour after plowing.
In searching around the web, I uncovered a company called Radiant Design in Stone Ridge, NY that installs radiant heat systems underneath driveways, pathways, stairs and landings. (See one of their projects at right.) While I can’t personally vouch for the company, their projects certainly look intriguing. I do know that the sidewalks outside Schenectady’s Proctors Theater have radiant heating installed underneath to melt the snow and ice in the winter – and I admire the theater for taking a novel, proactive and “green” approach.
Commercial Snow Melting
Another intriguing alternative for Lake George area businesses and municipalities is the commercial snow melter.
According to a snow management service in Minnesota:
– Snow piles can act as atmospheric filters, collecting chemicals and contaminants.
– When water exits the snow melter, it is in a cleaner state than when it enters.
– All the silt and garbage are filtered out and disposed of properly, and a single snow melter releases far fewer emissions than the typical trucking snow-hauling project.
– Melting the snow is cheaper than hauling it away, and quieter than hauling it away.
Again I can’t personally vouch for any of these claims but I do know that when our large piles of snow melt in the spring, the resulting runoff, and the contaminants it carries, can flow into the Lake. So it seems like these snow melters could have some serious lake-friendly benefits to consider!
Did this blog give you any new ideas or food for thought? Hope so!
Have you tried other ways to remove snow and ice in a lake-friendly way? Make sure to email us so we can share them!
Are you interested in learning more about permeable pavement applications in Lake George? Give us a call (518-668-3558), shoot us an email, or visit http://www.lakegeorgeassociation.org.