Winter Snow and Ice Removal
According to a 2012
report from the Illinois State Water Survey, chloride concentrations in
Illinois waterways have been steadily increasing since the 1960s.
Much of the increase can be attributed to road salts that are used
in the winter to melt snow from sidewalks, driveways and roads. These chlorides
never fully dissipate when stormwater runoff carries road salt into storm drains
and streams. Once in the water, there is no way to remove the chloride, which
can become harmful for fish and plant life. It takes only one teaspoon of
road salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water.
Residents can reduce use of road salt by utilizing
best management practices for snow and ice removal, including:
- Removing snow prior to applying a deicer.
- Using just enough
deicer to reduce safety hazard.
- Sweeping up and properly storing road
salt after a snow storm for reuse.
- Using alternative methods, such as a
beet juice derivative, to minimize the formation of ice.
- Using a
hand-held spreader to apply a consistent amount.
- Using less than 4
pounds of salt per 1,000 square feet (an average parking space is about 150
square feet). One pound of salt is approximately a heaping 12-ounce coffee mug.
Remember, more salt does not mean more melting.
- Sharing your knowledge
about the impacts chlorides have on our local waterways.
Municipal and Private Deicing Operations
DuPage County Stormwater
Management is working with the DuPage County Division of Transportation, DuPage
River Salt Creek Workgroup (DRSCW) and other organizations to educate public
entities and private companies about alternative deicing methods and best
management practices to reduce salt reaching DuPage County's waterways. Two deicing workshops are held each year for
public and private entities. Participants who
passed a deicing exam are recognized as having received training in best
management practices to reduce pollutant loads originating from deicing
Easy on the Salt