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This winter, join us in using a "low salt" diet for winter maintenance activities. Did you know that once salt is in the environment, it doesn’t go away? It degrades our infrastructure and ends up in our lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands, putting our aquatic life at risk and endangering our freshwater resources. It only takes one teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water to a level that is toxic for freshwater ecosystems.
Putting down more salt than is needed doesn't make snow melt any faster, so it's important to only use the correct amount. If you hire a contractor, be sure that they have been trained in appropriate salt application rates by checking this website to see if they have been SaltWise certified. If not, encourage them to get certified!
If you do your own winter maintenance, remember a little salt goes a long way. A coffee mug of salt is enough to treat an entire 20-foot driveway or 10 sidewalk squares. Also, keep in mind that when pavement temperatures drop below 15 degrees, salt won’t work. Switch to sand for traction or a different ice melter that works at lower temperatures. For more tips and tricks, check out our Winter Maintenance page: http://www.fitchburgwi.gov/2623/Winter-Maintenance.
Have a safe and low-salt winter!