Businesses (large and small) both private and public have to balance safety and effective ice and snow removal and during typical winters. Salt is the most commonly used tool and often used over and over again within a season.
Both salt and sand used for snow and ice management have negative impacts on the aquatic environment and the entire watershed. There are ways for deicing contractors to reduce chloride use on sidewalks, parking lots and roads.
Reducing Salt Negative Effects:
Reduce the amount and frequency of salt and sand application.
Store salt and sand in a covered and lined bermed area away from storm drain inlets.
Create brine with the deicer before application will make it more effective at melting the snow.
Calcium Magnesium Acetate
Regardless of the deicing substance and method, it is important to sweep extra salt off the parking lot, driveway, or sidewalk after a storm and in the spring after snowmelt.
Some ways to mitigate the impacts of sanding include:
Performing appropriate spreading procedures. Primarily it is important for municipal employees and facility managers to understand that more is not necessarily better.
Outfitting salt spreaders with technology that reduces the chances of overspreading and spreading outside the roadside yellow lines or desired parking lot management area.
Cover salt piles and store it away from the drainage system. This keeps the salt from running offsite and into the nearest waterway.
Use salt alternatives like beet juice. This mixture can reduce the amount of salt needed by up to 30%. It may be more feasible for these salt alternatives to be used in and around ecologically sensitive areas, such as along waterways or fragile tributaries.
Use "clean" sand that is free of fine materials so it doe not cause as much sediment in the waterways.
Assure the health of roadside vegetation by planting native salt-loving vegetation, which will flourish in the salty environment while still filtering pollutants out of stormwater.
Pile snow in upland areas in order to reduce the amount of deicer that flows into streams and lakes during the spring snowmelt.
Deicing Preferred Providers List These providers passed an optional test at deicing training workshops and join the rising ranks of plow drivers and salt applicators that are using best management practices to keep our roads safe while reducing winter maintenance costs and pollution to our environment.