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City of New HopeMinnesota

Be a Smart Salter

Be a Smart Salter
Posted on 12/16/2022

Many rely on salt to help rid driveways and sidewalks of ice during the long Minnesota winter. But did you know, it only takes one teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water? Winter salting makes a big impact on Minnesota lakes, streams, groundwater and wastewater, including long-term damage to local waterbodies like Northwood and Meadow Lake.

Reducing salt usage by salting smartly can help reduce damage to infrastructure, vehicles, plants and water supply.

  • Shovel - Clear walkways before snow turns to ice and apply salt only if needed. The more snow and ice that’s removed, the less salt needed to be effective.
  • Select - Salt doesn’t melt ice below 15 degrees F. Use sand for traction when it’s too cold, or a different deicer.
  • Scatter - Use salt only where critical. Aim for three inches of space between salt granules – more salt does not equal more snow and ice melt. A coffee mug full of salt is enough to treat a 20-foot driveway or 10 sidewalk squares.
  • Sweep - Clean up leftover salt, sand and deicer to save and reuse as needed.

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