Date Issued: January 7, 2019
While we haven’t had much snow and ice yet this winter, the Village of Westmont would like to remind residents about the importance of proper and responsible salt usage. According to a 2012 report from the Illinois State Water Survey, chloride concentrations in Illinois waterways have been steadily increasing since the 1960’s. Much of the increase can be attributed to road salts that are used in the winter to melt snow from sidewalks, driveways, and roads. These chlorides never fully dissipate when stormwater runoff carries road salt into storm drains and streams. Once in the water, there is no way to remove the chloride, which can become harmful for fish and plant life. It takes only one teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water.
Below are some tips provided by the County of DuPage Stormwater Management Department to help ensure that we are all doing our part to address this situation:
- Remove snow prior to applying a deicer.
- Use just enough deicer to reduce safety hazard.
- Sweep up and properly storing road salt after a snow storm for reuse.
- Use alternative methods, such as a beet juice derivative, to minimize the formation of ice.
- Use a hand-held spreader to apply a consistent amount.
- Use less than 4 pounds of salt per 1,000 square feet (an average parking space is about 150 square feet). One pound of salt is approximately a heaping 12-ounce coffee mug. Remember, more salt does not mean more melting.
- Share your knowledge about the impacts chlorides have on our local waterways.
Westmont Public Works continually strives to employ the latest techniques and practices to manage snow and ice removal in an environmentally-safe manner. The Village of Westmont is a member of both the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup (www.drscw.org
) and the Lower Des Plaines Watershed Workgroup (www.lowerdesplaineswatershed.org
). Each workgroup, consisting of municipalities and sanitary districts, is tasked with monitoring the health of the river. The workgroups evaluate the condition of the river and make recommendations to help improve the river to ensure it meets current EPA mandates.
For more information regarding proper snow and ice removal, please watch this video - www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Jf97BrzMc
Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont
Communications Director/Public Information Officer