History of Snowmelters

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Why melt snow?

Melting snow has been around since the 1800’s. It evolved out of necessity as snow removal from roadways, airport tarmacs, and other ground surfaces is a major task in areas where snow accumulation negatively affected public safety, transportation and commerce. In areas where snow removal is required either by statute, public convenience or business operations, significant resources are already being expended to dispose of the snow. However, substantial challenges still remain to dispose of the snow in a cost-effective, safe, and environmentally acceptable manner. Historically, it was common for areas that had ready access to bodies of water or unused land for snow to be dumped into the water or onto the land. Recently, considerations regarding debris and particulate or chemical contaminants contained in removed snow have resulted in severe limitations on the legality of dumping snow directly into water bodies. Many government environmental agencies around the world have now restricted or prohibited the dumping of snow into water bodies or onto land snow dumps.The difficulty in obtaining permits for land snow dumps has also diminished their availability and practicability.

Cost Effective

In addition to the environmental difficulties and hazards linked with land snow dumps, the cost of real estate may make creating and maintaining land snow dumps prohibitively expensive. In many areas, it is not cost effective to use tracts of land for snow dumps. If it is not practical to haul removed snow, two basic alternatives remain: to pile the snow and leave it to melt naturally over time, or to melt the snow in commercially available snowmelters.


Presently, conventional snowmelters generally fall into three categories: submerged combustion, heat exchangers, and resistance heaters. The most efficient are the submerged combustion type snowmelters that apply a fossil-fuel flame either directly to the deposited snow or to a water bath that melts the snow. The less efficient snowmelters use heat exchangers, whereby deposited snow comes into contact with tubes carrying fluids heated by external boilers. The least efficient resistance heater snowmelters are powered by external electric generators or other electrical power source.

Trecan Snowmelters

Trecan Snowmelters use Submerged Combustion Technology. We have been in business for over 35 years and have over 500 machines in operation thought North America and Russia.

Snowmelter History