Vancouver, British Columbia – The City of Ottawa will equip approximately 180 salt spreaders with a GPS system that will allow it to monitor winter road salting operations in real time, significantly reducing salt use, lowering costs and reducing environmental impact.

The city awarded a contract of more than $600,000 to WebTech Wireless Inc. of Vancouver, a provider of vehicle fleet location-based services and telematics technology, for its WebTech Wireless InterFleet GPS remote vehicle management solution.

The system will allow supervisors to view each vehicle’s salt use instantaneously and have operators adjust spreader rates on the move. Depending on winter weather conditions, it is estimated this could result in an annual ten per cent reduction in salt use, or 13,300 tonnes, representing an approximate saving of $1 million.

Reduced salt use will also help Ottawa meet its environmental objectives in support of Environment Canada’s Road Salts Code of Practice. The goal is to reduce the approximately five million tonnes of salt used by Canadian municipalities each winter, reducing the harmful effects of excessive salt use on plants and animals, while still maintaining safe winter road conditions for users.

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