Snowmelt System

Holland's Snowmelt System Recently Captured National Attention 

from The Weather Channel:

Holland's Snowmelt System - How Does it Really Work?

Snowmelt System

Since 1988, residents and visitors have enjoyed snow-free streets and sidewalks in downtown Holland throughout the winter season.

Thanks to the Holland BPW snowmelt system, waste heat from power generation is captured to heat water, which is circulated through 190 miles of tubing laid underneath the pavement and sidewalks back to the Holland BPW power plant. The system pumps over 4,700 gallons of water per minute at 95 degrees and can melt about one inch of snow per hour at 20 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 10 mph.  The snowmelt system is a closed system meaning it circulates the same water over and over again.  Prior to 2016, the system pulled water from Lake Macatawa.  By using potable water, the system is less likely to have sediment and should reduce wear on system valves.

Added benefits include No salting, No plowing, No slipping or sliding,

As a much-appreciated innovation, the snowmelt system has been expanded several times to include the market area at the Civic Center, the sidewalks to Herrick District Library, and the ramps to the parking deck on 7th St. In total, the snowmelt system today provides approximately 690,000 square feet of heated sidewalks and streets.  It is the largest publically-owned snowmelt system in North America.  There are also 190,000 square feet of privately owned snowmelt systems heated with water from City snowmelt mains.

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For mobile device users or to see a larger view of the map on a desktop, click here. To download a printable snowmelt map, click here.

In the News

Below are recent articles about Holland's Snowmelt System

eOfficial Magazine - "Let It Snow" - December 20, 2023

Let It Snow Article

Energy - "Revolutionary Snowmelt System Defies Winter in Michigan" - December 2, 2023

Local 4, Detroit MI - "Why 1 Michigan City Doesn't Need to Plow its Roads When it Snows" - December 2, 2033

StreetBlog USA - "Holland Shows How to Put Pedestrians First in Winter" - February 23, 2021

Runner’s World – “This Town’s Heated Sidewalks Make it a Winter Running Paradise” - February 2, 2019

The Weather Channel – “Winter Tech” – Heated Streets in Holland, MI - February 18, 2019

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