Clearing Snow and Ice: City and Public Responsibilities

With winter weather in full swing, it is important to review key information on mitigating snow and ice. The City of White Rock and the public both have responsibilities to keep our roads and sidewalks safe.

Please note: the City of White Rock cannot offer salt to the public. The City must maintain its supply in order to ensure they are able to keep major roads and civic facilities safe. Since the first snowfall, the City has used approximately 320 metric tonnes of salt to maintain emergency response routes and high priority roads. With snowfall and major winter weather systems in the upcoming forecast, our salt sheds must be kept at a certain level in order to be able to meet the anticipated demand.

Salt can be purchased at a variety of local hardware stores. You are encouraged to call ahead to inquire about store supplies. You can also contact industrial suppliers to purchase salt. As an alternative, you may wish to contact a landscaping company for snow and ice removal.

City Responsibilities during Snowy and Icy Conditions

City crews work hard in order to keep roads and civic facilities safe in winter conditions. The City dispatches crews based on the priority of the route and severity of conditions. The City also works with police, fire and ambulance emergency services to clear roads when necessary for an emergency response. We dispatch equipment as needed and apply a pre-salt to road surfaces to be prepared ahead of the first snowfall on the road to provide traction and mitigate ice forming before we initiate our Snow and Ice Control Plan.

To make the most of available resources, our priority locations for snow and ice removal are:

  • Major roads ( Priority 1 & 2 )
  • Bus routes
  • Emergency access routes (including Peace Arch Hospital)

To clear snow and ice, we use:

  • 2 Public Works F-550 trucks with plows and salters
  • 2 Parks Department single axle trucks with plows
  • 1 Public Works single axle dump truck
  • 1 Parks Department single axle dump truck
  • 2 backhoes
  • 1 Parks Tractor
  • 1 John Deere Industrial snow blower
  • 1 salt shed

Public Responsibilities during Snowy and Icy Conditions

Residents and businesses are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks surrounding their property by 10:00 a.m. following a snowfall as per City Bylaw No. 1529. Thank you for doing your part to be a good neighbour and for helping to keep our community safe.

When out shoveling, please take a moment to clear any drains adjacent to your property, especially during melting conditions. Blocked catch basins may result in excess water along the road area, which can become dangerous if it subsequently freezes. Blocked catch basins may result in flooding of adjacent properties depending on the extent of the blockage and the amount of melting snow. 

Tips for shoveling snow:

  • Shovel snow into your yard, not onto the street. Excess snow shoveled onto the street can become an obstacle and create unsafe conditions.
  • Use an ergonomic snow shovel with a curved or adjustable handle to make snow removal easier.
  • Use the shovel to push snow to one side rather than lifting it. If lifting is necessary, bend your knees to take the strain off your back.
  • Cold, tight muscles are prone to injury, so try going for a brisk walk, marching in place or doing any other full body activity before shoveling.
  • Pace yourself by removing small amounts of snow frequently instead of removing a large pile all at once.
  • Take a 10 or 15 minute break during shoveling and stretch out your arms, shoulders and back to keep them warm and flexible.
  • Wear shoes or boots with good treads to minimize the risk of slipping.
  • Spread sand, rock salt or kitty litter on your sidewalk or driveway to increase traction and reduce accidents.