Be Salt Wise to help local waterways - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Be Salt Wise to help local waterways

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MADISON (WKOW) -- According to a report from Public Health Madison Dane County, nearly 30,000 tons of salt were been dumped on Madison and Dane Co. roads in the winter of 2014-15, and that doesn't include what was spread on county highways, parking lots, sidewalks and driveways.

On Thursday, Kathleen Lake, environmental specialist with the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District stopped by Wake Up Wisconsin to talk about the importance of this new campaign.

The Madison Water Utility, MMSD, and the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership have joined forces to host training seminars aimed at teaching private contractors and municipalities how to keep salt use in check.

The effort to reduce road salt use in Dane Co. goes far beyond training the people driving the trucks. The WiSaltWise campaign is also focused on educating the general public on responsible road salt use.  According to Lake, just one coffee mug of salt is enough to treat an entire 20-foot driveway or 10 squares (60-70 feet) of sidewalk. 

Other things you can do to reduce salt and protect water include:

Shovel: Clear walkways and other areas before the snow turns to ice. The more snow you remove manually, the less salt you will have to use and the more effective it will be.

Switch: When pavement temps drop below 15, salt won’t work. Switch to sand for traction.

Hire a salt wise applicator: Some local applicators have been trained in winter maintenance practices that reduce environmental impacts. Ask potential contractors if they’ve been trained and use practices that reduce salt use like pre-treating with brine or pre-wetting salt.

Look for proper salt use at the stores & businesses you visit. If they’re using the right amount of salt - thank them! If not, let them know about WI Salt Wise.

Love the lines: The stripes on the roadway before a storm are anti-icing, they show that your professional maintenance crew is concerned about your safety and is saving money, time and protecting our environment!

Be Salt Wise all year: The salt you put in your water softener ends up in local freshwater streams. New, efficient softeners use less than one bag per month. If you’re using more – have a professional tune yours up or, replace it with a high-efficiency model.

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