Starting this winter, GPS and material monitoring technology will help city roads cut back on their salt intake by as much as 13,300 tonnes.
Ottawa will keep tabs on its entire fleet of salt spreaders and make adjustments to their operations based on the information collected as well as road and weather conditions. During a very snowy winter, the technology could save the city up to $1 million from salt purchasing alone.
“We are the first city to use fleet-wide GPS technology to monitor salt operations in real time,” said John Manconi, general manager of public works. “The real-time data we receive from each vehicle will allow staff to make operational adjustments ensuring that we spread the right amount at the right time and allow us to streamline our service delivery.”
The amount of salt applied to roads during the can be harmful with prolonged use because it contains a large quantity of chlorine that can seep into groundwater, affecting water quality in drinking wells and harming sensitive vegetation and aquatic life.
“Salting is our first defence against winter storms,” said transportation committee chair Coun. Maria McRae. “With this technology, we can better manage what we spread while maintaining safe roadways for motorists.”