Snow Removal Tips & Water Pollution Prevention

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Snow Removal Tips & Water Pollution Prevention

Did you know, the affects of de-icing materials can range from oxygen level reduction in our creeks and streams to increased sediment levels, burning vegetation along sidewalks and damage to concrete and carpets?

You can reduce the harmful side affects of de-icing materials by:
  • Shoveling early and often.
  • Reducing salt use. Use salt to break the ice/pavement bond. Throwing more salt on will not speed up the melting process.
  • Limit access to your home to one entrance.
  • Avoid using fertilizers and products containing urea. These products perform poorly below 20 degrees and require greater application rates to achieve de-icing. Very little of the fertilizer will remain on your lawn; most will be carried with run-off to our waterways.
  • Limit sand use. Sand does not melt ice, it only provides traction. Run-off containing sand can increase sediment levels in our creeks and streams.
  • Read the label before trying alternatives or "Green" products. Look at what the product contains not just the fancy label. Many manufacturers will use statements like "Melts at -25" and "Safe on or for ____". If is priced like salt it, it is likely salt. Bio-based products may be effective at lower temperatures but generally perform similarly to salt. Calcium chloride is generally effective to -20 degrees, however is corrosive and has greater impacts on local water quality. Consider applying salt before the snow event to help break the snow/ice/pavement bond.