Take It Easy on the Salt
Friday, December 15, 2017 12:25 PM

Too much salt can be bad enough for our bodies. But it's toxic for Como Lake and aquatic life. When chloride gets into water, we can't get it out. It's not like we can easily dilute a lake or river.
So, this time of year -- as we try to be good neighbors and try to keep our sidewalks clear of snow and ice -- what do we do? Be smart, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization recommends. To help us out, the watershed district created a very practical guide on using salt (or alternatives) on our sidewalks and driveways. The guide includes downloads and a chart of what kinds of de-icing products work best at which temperatures. It also spells out what kind of harm each product causes. Highlights:
  • Whenever possible, shovel (and scrape) -- early and often.
  • After that, whenever possible, let the sun do the work for you.
  • If the temperature is too cold, standard salt (sodium chloride) doesn't work. So don't waste your time using it. When it's too cold for salt (about 15 degrees F), instead use sand or a more expensive de-icing alternative.
  • Realize that, at warmer temperatures, sand is basically useless, too.
  • Don't overdo it. A little salt (or sand) goes a lot farther than you think it does. The guide tells you how to measure how little you really need.
  • Once the salt (or sand) does its job, sweep up what's left on the pavement. Save it for next time.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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