MONUMENT — The town of Monument is using super-heated steam to kill weeds and germs.
Landscape Supervisor Cassie Olgren says the town bought the "weed n steam" machine for $15,000 last year. She says it was a big part of the budget in weed treatment.
"The weed n steam machine heats and pressurizes water to a temperature that can kill weeds," said Olgren. "It's a total natural process, it kills it with the hot water so we don't have to use any chemicals."
Olgren says in the last few years, people have raised concerns over the use of chemicals and their long lasting impact on the environment. This led her to start doing research for a cleaner alternative.
"I was wishing I had a cleaner option, something that wasn't a chemical option. I started doing some research and I saw this machine CU had and I called and asked them about it," said Olgren.
She says by using the steamer, parks and trails don't have to be closed off to the public.
"With spraying chemicals, it has to be at the right time so you can avoid drift and pollinators," said Olgren. "People worry about walking their dogs while you're spraying chemical, they don't want it getting on their paws and things like that. But in this case, it'll dry and be done."
Since Monument bought the weed steamer, Olgren says she's only had to use chemicals once. In that instance, it was for toxic weeds that couldn't be steamed because it would've released toxins into the air.
As a bonus, Olgren says the machine is also helping to slow the spread of coronavirus.
"Another benefit of this is that it can sanitize equipment so we have used it on the playground equipment along with the weeds," said Olgren.
She says it took crews about half an hour to sanitize every playground in Monument. Time and money well spent to help those enjoying the outdoors.
Olgren says the weed steamer should last for at least 10 years. She hopes other cities will follow their lead and invest in the eco-friendly machine.