Up to now, it has been a gentle winter, however worry not, snow and ice are positive to seem. Once they do, make sure you deal with snow and ice responsibly to guard water high quality.
Salt is poisonous to the setting, however there are easy methods to guard our soil and water assets.
The commonest de-icing product utilized to highways and driveways is salt (sodium chloride). Salt dissolves in water and is tough to take away. Dissolved salts improve the salinity of the water, which impacts aquatic organisms.
If the salt-contaminated lake, river, or groundwater is a supply of ingesting water, then it may have an effect on human well being. And salt can alter soil chemistry and injury crops.
We’re particularly involved with chloride in our lakes and streams, as it’s poisonous to aquatic life. Traditionally, we’ve got not monitored Lake Macatawa or streams within the space for chloride.
Nonetheless, the Macatawa Space Coordinating Council (MACC) is doing preliminary monitoring in an city stream this winter to find out if additional research are wanted.
In the meantime, there are various methods to cut back salt use and defend our soil and water.
On a big scale, space freeway businesses observe plans to stability public security with safety of the setting.
Among the actions they take embody solely making use of salt to important areas liable to icing corresponding to intersections and bridges, in addition to calibrating vehicles to use the correct quantity of salt and take away snow first earlier than making use of salt.
You need to use these identical ways at dwelling.
Remember the fact that somewhat goes a good distance. Sprinkle with salt so there may be area between the grains. You solely want a cup of espresso value a 20 foot driveway.
If one thing does not dissolve, sweep it up when it’s dry and reserve it to be used once more. Solely use salt the place it’s completely essential for security, corresponding to hallways and constructing entrances.
Do not forget that salt is best if you happen to take away the snow first, particularly whether it is deep. The kind of winter precipitation can have an effect on salt utility.
If the snow is heavy and moist, apply salt because it falls to stop ice build-up. If sleet or freezing rain is anticipated, apply salt earlier than the storm to stop ice from forming.
Lastly, salt shouldn’t be efficient when the air temperature is 15 levels or colder.
Change to traction sand or another de-icer that works at decrease temperatures (like magnesium or calcium chloride), however observe the rules above to restrict how a lot you employ and clear up extra.
Collectively, we will all do our half this winter and make a distinction within the high quality of the water within the Macatawa Basin.
– Kelly Goward is the environmental program supervisor on the Macatawa Space Coordinating Council. It really works with native communities to enhance, restore and defend Lake Macatawa and the encircling panorama.