Winter is in comprehensive swing but occasionally we all could use a refresher system on best practices when it comes to snow and ice removal. Though many are applied to sprinkling salt on their driveways to melt any remaining ice, the harmful outcomes of widespread de-icers are everlasting polluters to area freshwater lakes and streams.
Up to seventy-8 percent of salt applied in the metro spot finishes up in groundwater or community lakes and rivers. This has an effect on the excellent and often even the flavor of consuming water. The Minnesota water excellent specifications condition there can be no far more than two hundred thirty milligrams of salt for every liter which is about 1 teaspoon in 5 gallons of drinking water. It doesn’t choose much chloride to contaminate area lakes and streams.
Oversalting is poisonous to mammals if ingested, and water with elevated stages of chlorine threatens the health and fitness of quite a few aquatic species like fish, amphibians, and insects. As for your pets, deicing products and solutions can lead to inflammation and irritation to their paws.
Aside from its pervasive environmental impacts, chlorine salt is corrosive to concrete, bridges, parking tons, and automobiles, which can lead to high priced repairs from salt damage.
There’s no environmentally pleasant alternative to salt, but there are finest tactics when it arrives to likely on a very low-sodium snow removal diet program.
Shovel walkways generally. Clear walkways before snow turns to ice and start snow removal as soon as doable to stay away from walked-on snow from turning into icy patches.
Sweep up and reuse salt. If there is seen salt on the pavement that is no longer melting any ice, make confident to sweep it up so it doesn’t get washed absent into community bodies of h2o. The salt can be reused and stored in an airtight container.
Be very careful when scattering salt. Only utilize salt where by it is necessary and test to goal for three inches of space involving salt granules. It requires only eight ounces of salt to de-ice 150 square feet, which is about the area of a parking stall. A a lot less is extra mentality is essential.
Use salt solutions. Eliminate pesky ice with an ice chisel instead of making use of salt. Sand is the ideal solution when it arrives to developing traction on icy patches. The Metropolis of Minneapolis offers free sand for sidewalks to Minneapolis residents.
If you do select to utilize salt, fork out awareness to the style of salt you’re working with. Most de-icers never do the job if the pavement temperature is 15 levels or fewer. Items containing magnesium chloride or calcium chloride, or glycol are productive in colder temperatures.
However, these de-icers can be unsafe if they get washed into waterways. In most conditions, it’s greatest to just lay off the salt.
For more information and facts on how to preserve you from oversalting this winter, take the city’s salt mini-training course application, and indication the pledge to be a improved salt steward.