What's Cool: Controlling Dust in the Wind

Wine Business Monthly
2009-06-01
Wineries and Growers

What's Cool: Controlling Dust in the Wind

New products control drift

Jun 2009 Issue of Wine Business Monthly

Vineyard managers know road dust produces problems for engines and moving parts, provides a wonderful habitat for mites, causes vineyard stress, diminishes chlorophyll production and can introduce soil­borne critters at harvest.

There are also many people who worry about air  quality and  take  "fugitive  dust emissions" very seriously. For example, Maricopa County in Arizona is having a "dust war," and statutes now require anyone disturbing just one­tenth of an acre and producing particulate matter of 10 microns or less (PM­10) to obtain a dust permit for $350. Non­compliance can result in "criminal complaints" and fines up to $10,000 per infraction, per day! Hello EPA.

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One bright spot for Maricopa County is that it's home to Soilworks, LLC of Gilbert, Arizona, a company with an arsenal of products to address the issue of dust. And if their home base  does not qualify them, their extensive work with the US Military and United Nations does, having won a slew of Government Service Agreement (GSA) contracts.

When the Department of Defense likes your product and contracts you to develop cargo airstrips, helicopter landing pads and tank roads in a desert, you probably have something to help the vineyard manager.

Soilworks has a number of applications depending on the severity of  the  site  and  the  level of  activity. One product is Soiltac, both a soil stabilizer  and a dust­controlling agent that creates a crust­like surface   by adhering soils and aggregates together. Gorilla­Snot  (coined by the US Army)  is the economy grade   of Soiltac, and Powdered Soiltac is the preferred choice of the United Nations.

Vineyards and wineries should look into using Durasoil. The company said that for the application, intended amount of traffic and overall cost effectiveness, this is the best choice.

All of Soilworks' products are patented and produced in five national locations under strict quality control measures. Durasoil is an "engineered" synthetic material that is clear, odorless and 100 percent environmentally safe. All Soilworks polymers are "prime materials," not by­products of rinse water or acrylic­based emulsions that have historically plagued the industry. And unlike the traditional applications  of calcium or magnesium chlorides, Durasoil does not wash away. It can even be applied in wet and freezing conditions.

Durasoil is easy to use for any size operation. With a viscosity close to water and not requiring dilution, application occurs in a single pass with any vineyard spray rig capable of applying water. I even saw one small project using a garden watering can. Cleaning equipment only requires soap and water.

Using nano­technology, Durasoil acts as a wetting agent that agglomerates or coats and weighs down particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns. Unlike environmentally questionable oil applications, it is non­ volatile, non­slippery, non­tracking, non­corrosive, not regulated for transport, requires no curing and can be used safely at indoor events like horse arenas.

It is ultra­pure, eco­friendly and does not contain any components that require OSHA limitations for eye, skin or breathing exposure.

What's cool is this material is considered "self­healing" and cumulative. It is a continuously re­workable fluid that will immediately accept traffic after application. Because it does not leach out of the soil, it remains viable up to 16 months. Thereafter, only a 30 percent re­application is required to maintain its lifespan and effectiveness. It is even UV­resistant.

Because Durasoil is classified as non­hazardous, there are no special requirements for handling, storage or hazardous transportation. Shipping of the product from distributor to vineyard is easy. It is available in 5­gallon pails, 55­gallon drums, 275­gallon totes and even tankers (bulk) up to 6,500 gallons.

What's Cool: It is time to put the old water truck away. Rather than paying for repeated applications that do not work, one application of Durasoil is all you need. The product is worker­ and environmentally­ friendly, easy to apply, long lasting and will save the vineyard manager money in the long run.

Dust abatement products have had a checkered past, so it is a good idea to work with companies like Soilworks that not only have an incredible resume but are members in good standing with groups like the International Erosion Control Association.

Finally, it is noteworthy that dust is not only a local problem. It just might be something to plan for "down the road." November of 2008 was the first annual gathering of the Road Dust Management Practices and Future Needs Conference held in San Antonio, Texas. It was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,National Park Service and

the Western Transportation Institute, to name a few. The two­day event discussed topics like dusting suppression, stabilization, environmental impact and designing for the future.

Being proactive now just makes good sense. And, guess what? Your vines will thank you. For more information, contact 1-800-545-5420 or visit www.Soilworks.com.

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