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Snow Removal Sprinkler System

Snow removal sprinkler system in Minamiuonuma, Niigata, Japan

The Minamiuonuma region in Niigata, Japan is known for its heavy snowfall and also for its numerous hot springs. Thanks to the warm or tepid underground water, currently some roads, walkways, and areas around buildings are equipped with ground sprinkler systems that pump up the underground water and use it to melt the snow. Although the low temperature in the winter often drops below the freezing point, the tepid water usually (except in extreme conditions) can be used to melt the snow as long as the water is kept flowing to prevent everything from freezing over.

Snow removal sprinkler systems can be expensive to install and maintain. The underground water is also in limited supply and will dry up if used constantly. Nevertheless, these sprinkler systems make life in snow country more manageable.

Below are some pictures of a snow removal sprinkler system that is installed in the center of a street. The system is turned on when snowfall reaches a certain point. Some systems are turned on manually, while others have sensors that detect the amount of snowfall and the temperature and then turn on/off automatically when specific conditions are met.

A short video of a snow removal sprinkler system can be viewed on YouTube at ▷

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