Contact Information: Mary Mitros 630-407-6706
Thursday, December 20, 2012
DuPage County Stormwater Management Urges Residents to Reduce Use of Road Salt this Winter
DuPage County Stormwater Management is encouraging
residents to reduce excessive use of road salt this winter. Despite a mild
2011-2012 winter, chloride concentrations resulting from stormwater runoff
carrying road salt into streams and storm drains were higher than in recent
Summer water quality sampling of the West Branch DuPage
River by the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup (DRSCW) revealed higher chloride
concentrations despite fewer instances of snow. DRSCW speculates the minimal
precipitation – both in the winter and summer months – led to the increase in
chloride concentrations because of a decrease in water levels.
“Many people think about nonpoint source pollution in
stormwater runoff as a problem only during the warmer months,” said Stormwater
Management Planning Committee Chairman Jim Zay. “However, the chemicals laid on
the ground during snowy, winter months also have lasting effects.”
Stormwater Management is encouraging residents to reduce excessive
use of road salt by utilizing best management practices. Removing snow prior to applying a
deicer, applying just enough to reduce hazard and sweeping up un-dissolved
product after a storm for reuse are all ways to reduce the instances of salt
running into DuPage waterways.
“Deicing best management practices may require more time
or energy, but reducing chlorides in DuPage County’s streams and rivers ensures
our aquatic habitats remain clean, healthy and enjoyable for recreational use,”
said Chairman Zay.
DuPage County pre-wets road salt and removes snow prior
to applying deicers in an effort to reduce chloride concentrations. For more information on chloride
reduction, visit http://www.dupageco.org/EDP/Stormwater_Management/Water_Quality/1193/.