City of Madison recommends using less road salt this winter - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

City of Madison recommends using less road salt this winter

Posted: Updated:

MADISON (WKOW) -- Winter is right around the corner, which means its time to stock up on road salt to melt the ice on your sidewalks and driveways.

The City of Madison has a new message for you this year regarding salt: to get the job done, you don't need as much as you think.

The city says parking lots and sidewalks receive up to 20 times more salt than needed. That means 90% of the salt is washed away into our groundwater and lakes.

"If you get above 230 mg per liter, you can start to affect the viability of fish eggs and frog eggs and things that are living down in the lakes," said Water Resources Engineer Phil Gaebler.

Gaebler says 1 cup of salt will cover ten squares of sidewalk. He also says before you use the salt, you should shovel and sweep as much of the snow and ice away as you can.

"Most people are surprised at how little salt is needed on the ground to actually eliminate the ice formation," said Gaebler.

If the temperatures get below 15 degrees, Gaebler recommends using another chemical to melt the ice. He says calcium chloride or magnesium chloride function better at lower temperatures.

The City of Madison is completing their 4th and final Winter Salt Certification program for 2017. The program is aimed at teaching winter maintenance professionals how to use the least amount of de-icing material necessary. Gaebler says they plan on offering more classes in the Spring of 2018.

Powered by Frankly