Tips to Help Manage Winter Salt Usage
How to use less salt this winter, stay safe and protect the environment.
Salt is used to make winter driving and walking conditions safer, but it doesn’t disappear when the snow and ice melts! Salt washes into our rivers and lakes and hurts our environment, wildlife and water quality.
At the Region, we’ve developed a salt management plan which, by implementing other techniques to combat snow and ice, has decreased direct salt usage despite increasing roadway kilometres. We also continue to research new methods and apply best practices to reduce the amount of salt used while maintaining a safe bare pavement standard.
Here are some tips to help reduce salt usage on your property while still maintaining safe conditions:
- Apply a small amount of salt across your driveway before falling wet snow and freezing temperatures to help prevent ice and snow from sticking and make it easier to clear.
- Avoid ice build-up and reduce salt use by clearing snow from driveways and walkways as soon as possible.
- Shovel snow first. Salt should only be used after the snow is removed and only in areas needed for safety.
- Don’t pile your snow where it could melt across paved areas and re-freeze creating a slipping hazard.
- Only treat icy areas with salt and give it time to absorb before clearing it. Don’t use salt to melt snow.
- Salt only melts ice and snow at temperatures above -10C. When it’s too cold for salt to work, alternatives such as sand, grit, non-clumping kitty litter or magnesium chloride can be used.
- Gather any unused excess salt from paved surfaces and store for re-use next time. Salt has no expiration date. Removing excess salt also helps prevent damage to paved surfaces and the environment.
- If you hire someone to clear your driveway or business, look for contractors that are Smart About Salt certified. They’re trained to improve winter salting practices.
For more tips and to learn about the Region of Peel’s winter maintenance program, visit peelregion.ca/snow.
Follow us on Twitter @PeelPublicWorks for snow clearing updates.