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The original item was published from 12/13/2017 3:51:58 PM to 1/6/2018 12:05:05 AM.

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Posted on: December 13, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Salting Tips to Protect Minnesota Waters

salt

Snowstorms can sneak up us, leaving us scrambling for the snow blower, shovel and salt. But before using salt, we want to remind you that if you don’t use it properly salt can be ineffective and harm the environment.

Salt helps melt ice and protects drivers and pedestrians. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), an estimated 365,000 tons of salt is used in the metro area each year. But when the snow melts, the de-icing salt, which contains chloride, runs into nearby bodies of water. Chloride accumulates in the water over time and can harm aquatic wildlife. There is no feasible way to treat or remove chloride from the water.


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offers suggestions to reduce a homeowner’s reliance on salt.

  • Shovel. The more snow and ice you remove, the less salt you’ll need and the more effective it will be.
  • 15° (F) is too cold to use salt. Most salts stop working at that temperature. Use sand instead for traction, but remember that sand does not melt ice.
  • Apply less salt. More salt does not mean more melting. Use less than four pounds of salt per 1,000 square feet.
  • Be selective where you use salt. If you don’t use that part of the sidewalk or driveway, don’t salt it.
  • If salt or sand is visible on dry pavement it is no longer doing any work and will be washed away. Sweep it up and use it somewhere else or throw it away.

Get more information about salt usage from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

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