Why do we practice smart salting?
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, “It takes only one teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water. Once in the water, there is no easy way to remove the chloride, and at high concentrations, chloride can harm fish and plant life.” Runoff from ice and snowmelt ends up in our lakes and rivers and can permanently damage our environment.
We live in the Midwest, which means one thing… winter weather. Nobody likes driving on slippery roads. It is a hassle and can be very dangerous at times. That is why we use road salt. Road salt can’t fix everything though, in fact, it can be ineffective at times.
MPCA states that “An estimated 365,000 tons of road salt is applied in the Twin Cities metro area each year. A study by the University of Minnesota found that about 78% of salt applied in the Twin Cities for winter maintenance is either transported to groundwater or remains in the local lakes and wetlands.” For this reason, Precision has taken the time to certify all our employees in smart salt application. We believe that we can reduce the amount of salt that we are using on roads and parking lots in our community. We do this by trying to …
- Train our employees on smart salt practices
- Calibrate our salt trucks so we know the amount of salt to use
- Clean up any excess salt after a storm
- Use the proper type of salt for the weather conditions
- Not salt when the conditions are too cold for the salt to be effective
Some people may think that more salt means more melting. This is not true. Salt takes time to be effective. Factors such as the type of salt, pavement temperature, and precipitation can make an enormous difference is how the salt works. For example, 1 lb. of road salt with a pavement temp of 30F will melt 46.3 lbs. of ice! In contrast, 1 lb. of road salt with a pavement temp of 15F will melt only 6.3 lbs. of ice. As you can see there is a dramatic difference in the effectiveness of the road salt. Adding more salt does not make it more effective, it will just leave behind excess salt that will then travel into our lakes and rivers.
For more information on this topic visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website! Spread the word and practice smart salting techniques this winter!