The Indian Trail Improvement District is halfway through a six-month test of a dust-reducing solution for roads. The same solution is also being considered by the Town of Loxahatchee Groves and the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District, and was recently presented to the Village of Wellington’s Equestrian Preserve Committee.
ITID is considering a six-month contract with GelTech Solutions for treatment of 3 miles of roadway at a cost of $13,000, according to ITID Manager Jim Shallman.
In June, ITID staff recommended a test of one of the more cost-effective dust control products under consideration. Materials were supplied at no cost for the trial period.
The Soil2O dust control product proposed by GelTech Solutions of Jupiter was for a six-month trial application along a half-mile length of 130th Avenue North between Persimmon Blvd. and 60th Street North, which has shown a high level of traffic-generated dust.
The chemical is composed of sodium polyacrylate cross-linked polymers that biodegrade with exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, according to the ITID staff report.
The product is considered environmentally friendly and can easily be applied topically with the use of the district’s water truck without the need for expensive equipment, labor-intensive soil preparation or soil stabilization.
GelTech has made presentations to Loxahatchee Groves town officials, who are also considering the application, and is planning a presentation to the LGWCD.
Shallman said that he plans to meet with LGWCD Administrator Steve Yohe sometime soon to discuss the most effective use of water trucks that are used in the application.
“So far, the test isn’t finished,” Shallman said. “We’re three months into it, and the results are quite good. It’s not a cheap fix by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a lot less expensive than some of the other alternatives, like paving. We’re going to continue with it. For six months, on a three-mile stretch, we’re going to spend about $13,000. For basic maintenance, that’s not a bad price.”
The application will be used on specific roads where dust control is needed but paving is not warranted or too expensive, he said.
“We’re going to pick the roads that need it, and that will be one of the methods in our arsenal,” Shallman said, explaining that ITID is still considering other methods, such as a chipseal process that is more expensive than Soil2O but less costly than asphalt paving.
Shallman said that he would be happy to share the results with other entities, and that ITID would have a complete report at the end of its test. “We’re very pleased with the results so far,” he said, explaining that the chemical’s absorption of water is what makes it effective at reducing dust.
Shallman also confirmed that the material appears to be an ideal treatment for horse footing, and is environmentally friendly in that it is non-caustic and eventually oxidizes.
GelTech, based in Jupiter, also manufactures a fire retardant that has proven effective, which uses a similar material.
The company made a presentation to Wellington’s Equestrian Preserve Committee in September amid the Saddle Trail paving controversy, and more recently on Jan. 5 to the Loxahatchee Groves Town Council, which is considering a test of the product.
GelTech Operations Manager Dan Eagle gave an overview of the product, application procedures and basic pricing.
Eagle also noted that his company would be doing a presentation for the LGWCD at a future meeting.
ABOVE: The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors.