Road salt runs off the road during rainfall and snowmelt, increasing the salinity or saltiness of our water to the point where it negatively affects the environment, plants, animals and our drinking water.
Homeowners can minimize their impact by doing the following:
- Shovel snow early and often to reduce the amount of salt needed to de-ice the surface. Also, pile snow in various locations, so the salt is not concentrated in one spot when the snow melts.
- Keep salt away from storm drains as that is a direct route for runoff into the stream.
- Follow the application instructions on your de-icer. Less is more. One 8-ounce coffee cup of salt will de-ice 250 square feet, which is the same as 10 sidewalk squares. Only apply salt to the walkways you use all the time.
- Remember the temperature limitation and don’t apply when it is less than 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
- Sweep up the extra road salt. That will also keep it off grass and out of soil.
- Use a potassium acetate de-icer if you have pets and make sure to wash their feet after walking them.
Contact Summit Soil and Water District for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-926-2452. ∞