Winter has finally made its appearance in Hudson. If you're reaching for the deicing salt to make your driveway and sidewalks passable, review the tips below so you can help reduce the impact of salt on the environment.
Stuff: Road salt (sodium chloride) only works above 15 degrees. If temperatures are colder, use sand or an ice melting product for those temperatures. Magnesium chloride is a new deicing salt that works in -13 degree temperatures. It releases 40% less chloride into the environment.
Amount: Use salt sparingly. One 12-ounce coffee cup full of salt is enough to cover about 10 sidewalk squares. There should be about three inches between salt granules.
Location: Salt only your sidewalk and driveway. Never place salt on your lawn, flower beds, at the base of trees, and never near a waterway. Hudson is in the Brandywine Creek, Fishcreek, Mud Brook, and Tinker’s Creek Watersheds, all of which could be severely affected by salt runoff. Just one teaspoon of salt permanently pollutes 5 gallons of water.
Time: Salt works best when it is applied before the snow falls or right after snow is removed from a driveway or sidewalk. Do not apply salt when rain is in the forecast as it will wash away into the storm drain and out to our waterways.
Following these tips will result in less salt being introduced into the runoff that feeds into lakes and stream. For more information contact the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District at 330-929-2871 or www.summitswcd.org.