Did you Know? (Snow Plow Facts)
Did you know that our Snow Plow drivers have about 180 lane miles to plow? We have a total of 14 employees that plow snow and 9 plow trucks. Our plow drivers are only allowed to work 12-hour shifts so we split our crew in half during snowstorms. Normally the plows stay out until the storm has ended and the snow has been pushed back to the curb unless another storm is in the immediate forecast. Usually, we have 5 or 6 plows out at a time depending on the conditions. The overnight shift works at keeping the main roads and hills open. We use 2 different types of salt. We use natural red salt and a treated white salt, which is blue. We are not allowed to use any type of sand or grit to add traction to the roads. When temperatures are below 20 degrees the salt is not as effective. We have to wait until the temperature rises or the sun to come out for the salt to work.
These same employees are also responsible for repairing water leaks, patching potholes, hauling salt, reading meters, doing inspections, delivering garbage cans, checking pumps and reservoirs, cleaning storm drains and all other essential City functions.
Snow Removal Plan
Farmington City crews will clear snow from priority roads first. Priority roads include those around schools, main arteries, and hills. We try to have all roads cleared within 10 hours, unless the storm is prolonged. Then, priority roads take precedence and other streets (cul-de- sacs and dead-end streets) will be cleared when conditions allow. The first pass of the plow is to open the roads then they will go back and push the snow back to the curb. Salting starts when 1 inch of snow build up is present on the street or, in areas with steep streets, just before a major storm arrives. Salt is generally applied only on hills and at intersections. Snow plowing starts when 2 or more inches of snow accumulate on streets.
Residents can help snow removal operations and themselves by using the following information:
- Park all vehicles, trailers, and boats off of streets, until the snow is removed. Ridges of snow around vehicles parked on streets will freeze and prevent or slow down future snow removal and may cause accidents when any vehicle hits them. City ordinance states that from November 15 to the last day of February no vehicles of any kind may be parked in the street right-of-way from 1 am to 7 am. Tickets will be issued to those who are not in compliance.
- Clear snow from sidewalks as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours after snow has ceased to fall. This is to prevent the snow from turning into an icy hazard for pedestrians, or forces them to walk in the street. Farmington City Ordinance 8-2-107
- Aim snow blowers into front yards away from sidewalks and the street. Ice and rocks, as well as powder snow are blown out many feet. This material can hit parked or passing cars, which can cause damage to those vehicles as well as possible accidents. Also, snow blown onto the street will freeze and become a slick spot, which easily may cause accidents.
- Push snow, shoved into your driveways by snow plows, onto the area between your sidewalk and curb; but, not into the street. Otherwise, if this pile of snow is shoved back into the street, it will freeze and become hidden by new snow. Then, when snowplows hit that pile of ice, the snowplows are shoved back into the traffic lanes and can easily hit passing or parked cars. Plus, vehicles can slide out of control in those areas.
- Give salt spreaders and snow plow equipment plenty of room. Don’t follow too closely – equipment could slide sideways or backwards at any time. This will prevent cracked windshields and avoid accidents.
- Drive cautiously and defensively. Salt trucks will generally only be used on hills and intersections. Other areas will remain icy. SLOW DOWN! DON’T FOLLOW TOO CLOSELY!
- If snow or ice control problems are seen by residents, you are encouraged to call the Public Works office at (801)451-2624.
All-Night Parking During Winter
In order to facilitate safe and efficient snow removal from roads during the Winter, the City prohibits parking on the road between November 15 until the last day of February, between 1:00 AM and 7:00 AM. Farmington Municipal Code 14-5-010.