Four Quick Tips to Reduce Your Impact on Our Watershed this Winter
Rock salt can be a great deicer, but overusing it during the winter months can negatively impact our watershed. As snow and ice melt, the chemicals in rock salt get swept away and eventually make it into our rivers and streams. These chemicals can kill plants and aquatic life upsetting the ecosystem.
This year, take these steps to help reduce the impact your deicing has on our watershed:
Buy Early: Try to have your stock of deicing products already in hand well in advance of the first big storm of the season. This way, you will have a better selection of environmentally-friendly products.
Shovel Early and Often: Deicers are most effective when there is only a thin layer of snow or ice that needs to be melted.
Apply Salt Early, but Sparingly: After you shovel and scrape as much snow and ice as possible, throw about a handful of rock salt per square yard. For calcium chloride salt, a handful for every three square yards is sufficient. ("Rock Salt" vs. Calcium Chloride Salt)
Know Your Deicing Zone: Note any plants, shrubbery, or grass that is within five to ten feet of your sidewalk and driveway and avoid using de-icing products that contain chloride. (Salt Resistant Plants)