NBC5 NEWS published following news report regarding the Hilltip spreader technology on their website:
New technology on University of Vermont’s campus hopes to limit salt use during snowstorms
This Road salt can contaminate drinking water, be harmful to animals, increase soil erosion and can be damage infrastructure.
BURLINGTON, Vt. — New technology that’s been in Finland for several years has now arrived to the University of Vermont campus.
The equipment, produced by a manufacturer called Hilltip, uses software that can determine how much salt is needed on any given street or sidewalk being treated during a snowstorm. University-reserved sustainability funding bought the technology for just over $20,000.
“We have the control of the amount of product we deliver,” Matt Walker, Grounds Manager at UVM, said. “It uses GPS technology to locate your truck, your piece of equipment, and give us the ability from a remote location to determine spread amounts.”
Any time salt is used during snowstorms, it can have harmful impacts.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), road salt can contaminate drinking water, be harmful to animals, increase soil erosion and can be damage infrastructure.
“Salt is erosive,” Walker said. “It damages a lot of paved areas, concrete. We have underground utilities that have shown damage from salt. Door frames into buildings, stairs, all those sorts of things. A big piece of it too is water. The watershed run off.”
The university has put together a new Salt Mitigation Task Force made up of faculty, students and staff.
Students have been involved in water testing, which has helped to paint a clearer picture of what impact salt has had in and around campus. This summer, the students will also help to get the technology fully set-up and ready to go for next winter.
“They’re interested. They care,” Walker said. “They want to do what’s right for the environment and getting their involvement we get to hear what they want.”
Carolyn Sistrand. (Mar 11, 2022). “New technology on University of Vermont’s campus hopes to limit salt use during snowstorms”. NBC5 NEWS. https://www-mynbc5-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.mynbc5.com/