H2YOU works to answer this age-old question
Water pollution from salt (or chlorides) is widespread and can come from multiple sources including excess use of deicers during winter maintenance.
As little as a single teaspoon of salt can pollute five gallons of water; the equivalent of a 50-pound bag of salt can pollute 10,000 gallons of water. Salt becomes invisible shortly after it is applied because it dissolves, becoming difficult and costly to remove once in our water resources. Prevention is the best way to protect and preserve clean water. Think before you salt and use these tips for salting to keep your guests, grounds, and facility safe this winter.
Clear the snow before it turns to ice so that salt is not needed. Shoveling is also good exercise.
Salt won’t work if the pavement temperature is below 15 degrees F. Decide if you should use salt in each circumstance.
If you decide to use salt, use less than 1 pound of salt per 12×12 square foot area. One (1) standard coffee mug equals one (1) pound of salt. Scatter to give about three inches between granules.
Sweep up any excess salt and reuse during the next snow event. Are you using the wrong product? If you notice that ice is not melting on your walkways even though you’re using an ample amount of product, you may have the wrong product. Besides overuse, the biggest mistake most ice melt customers make is buying a product that is not ideal for their specific ice melting needs. Know the active chemical and its lowest melting temperature.
Protect eyes and skin by wearing appropriate protective eyewear and gloves, particularly when using Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride ice melters; these are hygroscopic and pull moisture from skin.
Open bags of ice melt should be stored in airtight containers and kept away from moisture, air, and sunlight. Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride based ice melters will draw moisture out of the air. Be sure to completely seal bags/containers as exposed ice melt will absorb moisture causing the product to degrade, clump, and harden.
For more information about how to properly salt your property, please visit h2youmn.com.
About CMWEA and H2YOU
Central Minnesota Water Education Alliance (CMWEA) is a coalition of Central Minnesota cities, counties, townships, and other organizations that provides educational outreach to promote water quality stewardship.
The mission of CMWEA is to develop and implement educational programs through the H2You campaign that encourage individuals in Central Minnesota to protect water resources by increasing their knowledge and making simple behavior changes. By working in concert, the members of CMWEA are able to provide a consistent water quality educational message in a cost-effective manner.