Snow-removal professionals prepare for summertime symposium

Pictured here, hard at work, is a heavy-duty snowplow from SnowEx Snow and Ice Control Equipment. File photoPictured here, hard at work, is a heavy-duty snowplow from SnowEx Snow and Ice Control Equipment.
File photo

The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) expects as many as 2,000 people to turn out next month for the organization’s annual symposium, which includes a major trade show, more than 20 educational sessions and workshops, and of course plenty of networking opportunities.

The event is scheduled for June 22-24 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. To register, go here.

SIMA-logoSIMA’s chief executive, Martin Tirado, said Thursday that several of the educational sessions at this year’s symposium will focus on the organization’s “Sustainable Salt Initiative.” That effort, in which SIMA has partnered with Viaesys and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, involves research into the amount of salt applied in snow and ice management activities.

SIMA is working to mitigate the environmental impact of the salt while saving its members money by coming up with ways to ensure that application rates are sufficient while reducing routine overuse of the chemical.

Tirado said data gathered as part of the research will help reduce the overuse of salt through more efficient monitoring of application rates and perhaps even some recommended modifications in equipment. The initiative will enable SIMA members to compare their usage rates with those of their peers.

Although most environmental regulation of salt used in snow and ice management is limited to storage of the chemical, concerns about its impact on groundwater supplies, in addition to the corrosive effect of the chemical on infrastructure and vehicles, has gained momentum in recent years.

Tirado said SIMA is being proactive in working toward ways to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to responsible use of the key ingredient in snow and ice management.

In addition to its keynote speakers and some two dozen educational sessions, the 2016 symposium will offer three pre-conference workshops on June 22:

  • Equipment Safety and Maintenance Best Practices
  • Sustainable Salt Use
  • Parking Deck Operations

The two-day trade show, meanwhile, will feature more than 120 exhibitors.

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