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News > Salt deicer can impact the environment
Salt deicer can impact the environment

Posted 2/9/2011   Updated 2/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by 375th Civil Engineer Squadron

2/9/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- With snow often comes ice, and with ice comes slicks which turn into slips that often leave our tailbones and egos a little bruised. Many of us will turn to some sort of salt-based deicer to help get the ice off our sidewalks.

Unfortunately though, some of these salt deicers end up washing into storm drains and polluting our streams and lakes.

To help mitigate the environmental aspect of keeping your driveway and sidewalks ice free, look for environmentally-friendly ingredients in the deicer and make sure it fits your desired use and local weather conditions. Ingredients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium are examples of these less hazardous ingredients. Once the snow comes, use as little of the deicer as possible to be effective.
By shoveling snow early and often, the easier it will be to remove with little or no help from your salt deicer. If snow and ice has built up, it's time to get out the deicer. Before you dump the entire bag on your sidewalk, check the label for application directions. Use the deicer accordingly. Once the ice begins to melt and break up, promptly shovel the slush off the pavement to avoid it washing into the storm drains. By making these small, extra efforts, we can have safe, ice-free sidewalks and driveways while still helping keep our streams and lakes clean.

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