Thus far, it has been a gentle winter, however concern not, snow and ice are positive to seem. Once they do, you’ll want to deal with snow and ice responsibly to guard water high quality.
Salt is poisonous to the atmosphere, however there are easy methods to guard our soil and water assets.
The most typical de-icing product utilized to highways and driveways is salt (sodium chloride). Salt dissolves in water and is troublesome 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 consuming water, then it will possibly have an effect on human well being. And salt can alter soil chemistry and harm crops.
We’re particularly involved with chloride in our lakes and streams, as it’s poisonous to aquatic life. Traditionally, now we have 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 numerous 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 atmosphere.
A number of the actions they take embrace solely making use of salt to essential areas vulnerable to icing comparable to intersections and bridges, in addition to calibrating vehicles to use the right amount of salt and take away snow first earlier than making use of salt.
You should use these identical techniques at dwelling.
Remember the fact that just a little goes a great distance. Sprinkle with salt so there may be house 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 put it aside to be used once more. Solely use salt the place it’s completely crucial for security, comparable to hallways and constructing entrances.
Do not forget that salt is only for those who 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 forestall ice build-up. If sleet or freezing rain is anticipated, apply salt earlier than the storm to forestall ice from forming.
Lastly, salt shouldn’t be efficient when the air temperature is 15 levels or colder.
Swap 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 utilize and clear up extra.
Collectively, we are able to 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.