Smart About Salt in Winter,   Steve Desroches,  former City Councillor and  Deputy Mayor

 

Despite a late start, winter is upon us.   Alongside our snow blowers, shovels and plows, many homeowners, contractors and cities employ salt to help combat snow and ice on their driveways and walkways.   Safety is paramount because a thin layer of ice under our feet and tires can be dangerous and deadly.   Despite its effectiveness, salt also has some negative and costly impacts.   The salty water runoff ends up in our river and groundwater systems.   It can harm vegetation and salt trapped on the paws of our pets can irritate and crack skin. Over the long term, salt damages sidewalks, roads and bridges leading to increased maintenance costs and taxes.  At home, too much salt accelerates rusting on our vehicles and stains footwear and clothing. > > As Deputy Mayor, I hosted a city-wide summit to help promote smart salt practices by both public and private sector winter maintenance service providers.   Many local sakeholders agreed that we need to be SMART and prudent with our salt use in the winter.   Not only can smart salt use minimize negative impacts, it can also save us money. > > Here are a few tips to consider: – shovel first to reduce the need for salt  
– use a traction aid like kitty litter or sand > – sprinkle salt on only the icy areas > – prevent ice build-up by redirecting water downspouts away from  walkways and driveways > – learn more by visiting www.smartaboutsalt.com Be safe this winter > and at the same time be smart about the amount of salt you use.  Sometimes less is really more. > > Steve Desroches is a former City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of the City of Ottawa. > 
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