Written by Collin Czarnecki
DuPage County officials are asking residents to reduce the amount of road salt they use this winter.
Road salt can pollute freshwater by increasing chloride concentrations within county waterways, which have been steadily increasing for the last five decades, according to DuPage County Stormwater Management.
“Studies have shown that it only takes one teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of our freshwater resources,” said Stormwater Management Planning Committee Chairman Jim Zay in a press release. “Once the salt gets in our waterways, it stays in our waterways.”
Road salts are carried into storm drains and streams via stormwater runoff. Once in waterways, chlorides never fully dissipate and can be harmful for aquatic life at high levels, according to officials.
Officials said residents can reduce the use of road salt entering waterways through the following steps:
- Removing snow prior to applying a deicer;
- Applying just enough deicer to reduce hazard; and
- Sweeping up and properly storing product after a storm for reuse.
“Minor adjustments to a normal winter routine can really make a difference,” Zay said in a release. “DuPage County and many municipalities have utilized these best management practices for years. With a little help from homeowners, we are on the right track to healthier streams and rivers.”
For more information on chloride reduction, visit www.dupageco.org/EDP/Stormwater_Management/Water_Quality/1193/.