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FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions 

How does the sand cleaning machine work?
The Sifting machine works by forcing sand onto the sifting grate at the front of the machine. The grate vibrates back and forward rapidly, causing the sand to fall through the grate, in the process the rubbish then moves up the grate and into a catcher unit.
Once the catcher unit is full, it is then emptied into a larger bin. During this time we remove any hazardous items from the debris. We complete a report at the end of the clean to let customers know what items have been removed during the clean.
 
 
Why is using a machine better than raking?
We use various grate sizes during the cleaning process which range from 6mm x 4mm to 20mm x 20mm.. A standard nail rake has a gap of approximately 65mm x 30mm between the nails. Quite clearly the volume of material that the Sifting machine is able to remove is far greater that a standard nail rake.
 
 
What size grate do you use?
We use the smallest sifting grate possible based on the level of moisture and clay content of the sand.  The higher the moisture or clay content of the sand, the larger the grate we need to use. We recommend that the sand be as dry as possible for the clean.  
 
 
What sort of items can the machine remove?
The sand cleaning machine is capable of screening /sifting small areas of sand to remove syringes, broken glass, general litter, rubbish, cans, plastic, cigarette buts, animal droppings, stones, straws, shells, leaves and other small debris. The amount of and type of items removed is influenced by the size of grate used.
 
 
What if there is grass growing through the sand pit?
The sifting machine does not remove grass; it needs to be dug out by hand using conventional methods. Once the grass has been dug out, then the sifting of the sand with the machine can commence. 
 
 
How deep does it clean?
The sifting machine usually cleans to a depth of 100mm. We are able to clean deeper than the 100mm should we need to.  
 
 
How often should I sift my sand?
The recommended frequency for cleaning is dependent on the amount of debris, litter, grass and hazardous material within a pit, also how quickly the pit deteriorates, the amount of use the pit gets plus whether the area is open to the general public.
 
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend:
Public Beaches
Have a maintenance level clean every 6 to 12 months.
The large beach cleaners are designed to remove large objects such as containers, paper and cans. They are not designed to remove small items such as broken glass, stones and cigarette buts which now plague many of our public beaches.
 
Sand softfall areas that are used by the general public
Have a basic level of clean monthly (replaces a raking program).
Have a maintenance level clean between every 3 and 6 months.
Have a comprehensive clean approximately every 3 years
 
What sort of areas can you clean?
Sifting Sands can clean almost any sand area, including children's playgrounds, private and public beaches, beach volleyball courts and golf course bunkers to name a few.
 
 
Will you be able to sift our sand?
We can usually access most sand areas though require a minimum gate entrance of 0.9 metres or greater. Ideally the pit should be at least 5m x 4m in size to facilitate an effective clean. We can sometimes clean smaller areas though there are a number of factors that influence whether this is practical. The ability to clean a sand pit is also influenced by the amount of equipment within the pit and whether the pit has walls or fencing around it.
 
The type of machine used is transportable, highly manoeuvrable and able to be taken to sand locations without damaging surrounding areas. We also carry a number of custom designed ramps that allow us to get over walls or other obstacles.
 
 
Type of cleans available 
The type of clean we recommend is based on the condition of the pit, including the amount of litter, contaminants, grass, what depth the customer requires us to clean to and the amount of levelling required.   
Comprehensive clean
This type of clean is for sand pits that are in poor condition, have never been cleaned or have not been cleaned for a few years. There may be a problem with contaminants such as syringes or glass, have a medium to high level of grass or tree roots growing through the pit, or may require a high degree of levelling. Small sand pits smaller than 20m2 usually require a comprehensive clean due to the complexities in cleaning this size pit.
 
Maintenance clean
As the name describes, this level of clean is designed to be conducted every 3 to 12 months to maintain a sand location at an acceptable standard by removing the top layer of litter and contaminants. A low degree of levelling is usually required.
 
What is the cost?
The cost is influenced by the type of clean conducted, the size of the sand area being cleaned and a few other factors. Please contact Sifting Sands for a no obligation free quote. Click here to view our contact details or send us an E-mail.
 
 
How will I know what is removed?
We provide our customers with a waste collection report which will tell you what has been removed including any hazardous items. We will send this to you electronically if you have an E-mail address; alternatively we can send it to you through the regular post.
 
 
What if the sand is wet?
The wetter the sand the larger the grate we need to use. We recommend that the sand be as dry as possible for the clean.
 
 
Is the sifting machine safe to use around people?
The sand cleaning machine operates at a speed less than half normal walking pace, does not create flying objects and has a noise rating of 84db at operating distance. The sifting machine is designed to be used on beaches which are accessible to the general public. The sand cleaning machine has an automatic cut out switch which can be activated by the operator or is automatically engaged should the operator let go of the machine.
 
When cleaning children's softfall areas and playgrounds we do everything possible to prevent injury including ensuring that the area is sealed off using bollards, signs and flags, while schools are usually cleaned outside of regular school hours.
 
Although we take many measures to help ensure people's safety, ultimately it is up to parents and guardians to take responsibility for their children and ensure they do not enter a restricted area.
 
 
Does the sifting process bleach the sand?
The sifting process removes items out of the sand, it does not bleach the sand. The sand looks a lot brighter after the clean as rubbish and litter is removed from the sand.
 
 
Does the sifting process remove everything?
It is not possible to remove absolutely everything. At Sifting Sands we make every effort is to ensure an area is as clean as possible, though we cannot guarantee that a cleaned area will be totally free of all rubbish or litter. Please click here to see our disclaimer.
 
 
Our sand is very compact and hard - will sifting help?
Yes. The sifting process helps loosen and aerate the sand, hence making the sand "softer". The degree to which the sand is "softened" will depend on the type of clean selected and how deep we clean.