Use salt sparingly to treat driveways, sidewalks - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Use salt sparingly to treat driveways, sidewalks

Greater Cincinnati Water Works officials warn more salt isn't better to treat sidewalks and driveways. (FOX19 NOW) Greater Cincinnati Water Works officials warn more salt isn't better to treat sidewalks and driveways. (FOX19 NOW)
Tips for reducing salt use to melt snow. (FOX19 NOW) Tips for reducing salt use to melt snow. (FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

More isn't always better, especially when it comes to salt.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works officials say the majority of Hamilton County storm drains flow directly into local waterways.

Melting snow picks up whatever is in its path, including salt, and then washes it into the drains.

Experts say that can lead to contamination levels 3 to 4 times higher than recommended for aquatic life.

That's why the city of Cincinnati has started using alternatives, like beat juice, and pre-treating with brine.

There are also steps you can take a home to lessen the impact:

  • Shovel your drive way and side walks before spreading salt. The more snow and ice you remove the less salt you'll have to put down and the more effective it will be. 
  • Slow down on the roads. The slower you drive, the more salt will stay on the roads. 
  • Use salt sparingly because more salt doesn't mean more melting. A coffee mug full of salt is more than enough cover about 250 square feet. To put that in perspective, a parking space is about 150. 
  • Be patient and give the salt time to work. Applying more will just lead to unnecessary contamination. 
  • Remember that most salt stops working when the temperature dips below 15 degrees, so it may be a good idea to wait for a warm-up. 
  • Sweep up the excess and save it for the next storm.

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