Do you use salt on your parking lots and driveways during the winter? You may be washing money and pollution down the storm drain. Salt is a useful tool to improve safety but it also ends up washing into our ponds, lakes and rivers where it can harm the plants and animals that live there. In fact, just one teaspoon of salt can pollute 5 gallons of water forever and contrary to popular belief, there is no treatment plant between your parking lot runoff and the nearest water body. The good news is that there is a way to reduce this source of pollution. Most people apply more salt than needed or apply salt when it won't be effective, so educating yourself on the proper amount and timing for salt application can save you money and help keep our waters clean. By applying these practices, the average business can reduce costs by 65%.
Here are some simple ways to manage winter ice and snow more efficiently:
- Shovel that snow during the storm and after. Staying on top of the storm will be more effective than trying to catch up later
- Temperature matters when using salt and sand. Use salt when it is warmer than 15 degrees and sand when it is below. Most road salts won’t be effective well below freezing temperatures and the sand will help with traction on pathways and walkway.
- Less is better when applying salt. If you can see the salt after it has been applied; you’ve used too much. Once its dried; sweep it up and it can be reused; or throw it in the trash.