Warren County and the Town of Hague have earned the Sustainable Winter Management (SWiM) Program certification for reducing the use of road salt — and its runoff into Lake George and other waterways — while maintaining safe driving conditions.
The SWiM certification was developed and is administered by winter management consulting firm WIT Advisers, LLC, of Delanson, NY. In 2018, the Town of Lake George became the first municipality in North America to earn the certification.
Warren County and the Town of Hague earned their SWiM certifications based on their proven abilities to use real-time data and photographic evidence to monitor, measure, self-assess and adjust their winter road maintenance procedures to keep the roads as clear as possible while minimizing the use of salt.
Among the best practice techniques used by the County and Town are applying pre-coatings of liquid brine on roads in advance of winter storms to minimize ice buildup; using special “live edge” plows to remove snow closer to the road surface; and equipping their plow trucks with technologies that calibrate and track road salt application and monitor road conditions.
The certifications were presented on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit, organized by The FUND for Lake George, Lake George Waterkeeper, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, AdkAction and the Ausable River Association.
This year’s Summit drew a record crowd of approximately 150 government, business, scientific and not-for-profit representatives to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid for presentations on the latest methods and equipment for safe road salt reduction, and strategies for adapting winter road management practices to changing weather patterns.
Warren County and the Town of Hague are part of the Lake George Salt Reduction Initiative coordinated by The FUND for Lake George. The FUND has identified road salt runoff as one of the greatest threats to the water quality of the Lake and other area waterways.
Pictured (from left are) Eric Siy of The FUND for Lake George; Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky; Rick Myers, Steve Ramant, Matt Coffin, Tim Fiallo, Don Smith, Dan Steitz and Ernie Trudeau of the Town of Hague Highway Department; Phill Sexton of WIT Advisers, administrator of the SWiM® Program; and Raqib Omer of winter management software solutions provider Viaesys, by Melissa Blackall.