Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Salt & Sand Use in the Winter

Winter is Here! We have gotten a few winter storms now and experienced some icy conditions. With that, out comes the salt and sand on pavement to prevent slips and falls. Salt is tried and true way to melt ice and sand adds traction during the really cold conditions. These are great ways to improve safety on roads, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots, but they do come at a cost . . . to the environment. Sand adds excess sediment to our waters that can smother habitat for aquatic organisms. Salt is a chemical that is toxic to aquatic life at high concentrations. Salt stays in the water virtually forever and can only be removed by reverse osmosis. While we do not discourage the use of salt and sand, we promote the conservative use as to not be harmful to our waterways.

Friendly reminders on salt and sand use:
  • Sand provides traction, does not melt snow and ice
  • Mechanical removal snow is the best way to avoid icy build-ups (salt NOT effective with 3 inches of snow accumulation)
  • Do not apply salt/sand mix. Use salt and salt separately as necessary, depending on condition
  • Salt needs TIME to work (at 15F, one pound of salt needs 60 mins to melt 6 lbs of ice) 
  • Apply sand in extreme cold when salt is ineffective.
  • Salt (Sodium Chloride) is only effective at or above 15F
  • Store salt and sand in a covered container indoors. 
  • When applying salt, go for the pattern below:  

*General rule of thumb for salt use: 1 pound of salt fits into a 12 oz coffee mug and is enough to cover 60-70 feet of sidewalk or 20 feet of driveway. You can always add more salt if needed*
For more info, visit https://www.wisaltwise.com/
Have a safe and happy winter!