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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Johnna Kelly (630)407-6022

Thursday, February 2, 2012

DuPage DOT Recognized for Reducing Environmental Impact of Road Salt

DuPage County Division of Transportation was recently honored by the Conservation Foundation with the inaugural Low Salt Community Award for its success in reducing salt use on roadways.

“While our main priority is to maintain safe driving conditions for drivers, we are also aware of the impacts road salt can have on the environment. Our DOT staff has effectively reduced the amount of chlorides in the environment through the use of alternative, more effective and environmentally friendly de-icing compounds,” said Don Puchalski (District 1), chairman of the Transportation Committee.

Through this initiative, the DuPage County DOT reduced its salt use by an average of 8,000 tons a year for the past four winters.

This accomplishment was reached by switching to more environmentally friendly de-icing compounds such as:

Ecosalt, a pre-treated small granular salt, which is 80 percent less corrosive than regular salt;
Geomelt, a sugar beet based organic accelerator that is used to treat the County’s salt stock;
Geomelt K, a non-chloride liquid used in parking garages; and
Super Mix 217, a liquid-blended product used in place of calcium chloride.

Puchalski said these products act in ways that dramatically increase the County’s ability to clear roadways, lessen impact on the environment and decrease the erosion caused by familiar chloride-based products.

Such advantages include decreasing the ability of ice to bond to roadways and reducing the amount of chlorides that end up in water ways. Chlorides are known to be permanently harmful to plants, insects and aquatic life.