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Environmental impact of salt during snow storms

(Photo: Pixaby / License Link) (MGN)
(Photo: Pixaby / License Link) (MGN)(KWQC)
Published: Feb. 6, 2020 at 11:37 PM EST
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Thursday was part two of the winter storm. A few inches of snow mean many people are out salting their driveways and sidewalks. There is an environmental disadvantage to all of that excess salt.

Salt is probably the most popular de-icing treatment during snow events. While it may protect someone from slipping and falling on the ice, too much of it is bad for the environment.

Salty streets and sidewalks have consequences once the snow melts.

"The salt that goes on the roads and the sidewalks doesn't just disappear. Instead it's going many times as runoff into the streams and rivers around us," said John Wenzlick, Ottawa Hills Village Administrator.

Last week a flyer went out to Ottawa Hills residents explaining the environmental impact of too much salt.

"We want to make sure that we protect the wildlife, protect the fish, protect the vegetation that we all know and love and obviously we want to make sure the water quality is at the highest that we can have for Northwest Ohio," said Wenzlick.

If you do salt, you probably don't need as much as you think. To be the most effective, less is more. Experts say all you really need is a 12 ounce cop of coffee full of salt to cover ten sidewalk squares.