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Charleston Sideroad - snow storage facility

Ward 1, Town of Caledon

A snow storage facility is under design and will be built on a parcel of land north of Charleston Sideroad between Cataract and Mississauga Roads in the Town of Caledon.

Over the course of a snowy winter, snow accumulates on the side of the road as plows clear the snow off the roadways. As the banks get higher, too much snow can become a safety issue by obstructing driver views and hindering pedestrian passage. 

In recent years infrastructure updates to improve walkability, cycling and other modes of travel have reduced the areas where snow can be placed within built environments.

Road Operations monitors snow accumulations and periodically removes the snow piles from the boulevard storage areas. The removed snow needs to be taken somewhere to melt in an environmentally responsible way, as it may contain road contaminants such as salt, oil, grease, garbage and heavy metals.

Snow storage

Identifying appropriate snow storage sites has become an increasing challenge due to population growth and environmental disposal concerns. The issue may worsen by the impacts of climate change. Most of the traditional locations of storing snow are becoming unavailable or inappropriate for use.

To address the issue of snow storage, a small snow storage facility is being designed and built on a parcel of land north of Charleston Sideroad between Cataract and Mississauga Roads in the Town of Caledon. The facility is located away from residential areas and will service Alton, Belfountain and Caledon Village. On average, the Region removes about 2000 to 3000 tons of snow annually from these hamlets.

The facility will provide a safe and an environmentally responsible way to store and manage the removed snow. The location was selected based on the technical, socio-economic and environmental benefits guidelines set out by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC).

Greenhouse gas emissions from trucking can also be reduced due to the shorter travel distances within these Ward 1 communities from the snow storage location.

Contact
Syeda Banuri
Project Manager, The Region of Peel
905-791-7800 ext, 4052
Syeda.banuri@peelregion.ca



Other information

An asphalt pad will be constructed at the location. The two existing driveways will be retained, and a berm will be added between the storage site and the right-of-way to contain the snow on the site.

Snow will melt slowly and naturally towards a bio-swale treatment facility leaving behind debris and some salt on the pad. In the spring, the debris will be removed by a vactor truck. A bio-swale treatment facility will filter the snowmelt and slowly release it back to the road-side ditch. 

In addition, a plan will be put in place to monitor and mitigate any potential adverse impacts from the snowmelt for several years.

Currently the project is in the detailed design stage with construction scheduled to commence in Summer 2020.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) provides guidance on snow disposal and de-icing operations in Ontario. The guidelines can be found at the following link: ontario.ca/page/guidelines-snow-disposal-and-de-icing-operations-ontario

The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) also provides guiding principles for planning snow disposal found at the following link: tac-atc.ca/sites/tac-atc.ca/files/site/doc/resources/roadsalt-8.pdf

The Region has incorporated the MECP and TAC guidelines into its own guidelines for planning and designing a snow storage facility as follows:

  • Locate away from residential areas to minimize the disruption of the operation caused by trucks noise, bright lights and equipment back-up sounds and banging of gates;
  • Locate away from environmentally sensitive areas to reduce impacts from melting the contaminated snow; 
  • Locate as close as possible to serviced areas to minimize operational costs and green-house gas emissions from moving the snow; and,
  • Treat the melt water in compliance with water quality regulations to protect the surface and ground water resources.