News Release: January 10, 2020
Stay safe while using less salt this winter
BRAMPTON, ON (Jan. 10, 2019) – It’s the time of year when salt is used to make winter driving and walking conditions safer.
However, the salt placed on roads, sidewalks, parking lots and driveways doesn’t disappear when snow and ice melts. Salt mixes with water from melting snow or rain and makes its way into our rivers and lakes, and over time, harms the environment, wildlife, and quality of our drinking water sources.
"Road salt is a significant source of water pollution in urban communities,” said Amanjot Singh, Senior Engineer, Water and Climate Change Science at Credit Valley Conservation. “During winter, we’ve found local urban creeks with salt levels close to those found in oceans. High salt levels affect drinking water quality and threaten wildlife. We need to continue to reduce use of salt to protect our water and our environment."
What the Region is doing?
Since 2005, the Region of Peel Road Operations has been using a salt management plan to better control and manage the amount of salt applied to roadways, despite an increase in the total amount of road kilometres it services. The plan guides staff on salt usage, salt storage and environmental stewardship through the use of technology, environmental decisions, skills/training and communication.
The Region and its local municipal partners (Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon) are working together to use salt more wisely at Regional and Municipal facility parking lots and on walkways.
“Together with our local municipalities, we are committed to keeping our roads safe and clear of snow and ice while applying salt responsibly,” said Andrew Farr, Commissioner of Public Works, Region of Peel. “We continue to research new methods and alternatives to help reduce the amount of salt used, while maintaining our safe bare pavement standards. For example, by using brine, a water and salt mix, we can decrease the amount of salt required. Also, when we apply salt, we pre-wet it to ensure that it stays where it is placed and doesn’t bounce off the road, reducing its impact to the environment.”
What you can do?
Follow these tips to reduce your salt usage while keeping driveways, sidewalks and walkways clear and safe:
- Before snow falls or temperatures drop to freezing, spread a small amount of salt across your driveway to help prevent ice and snow from sticking.
- Avoid ice build-up and reduce salt use by clearing snow from driveways and walkways as soon as possible.
- Remove snow and then spread salt only in areas needed for safety.
- Salt only melts ice and snow at temperatures above -10°C. When it’s below -10°C, use alternatives such as sand, grit, non-clumping kitty litter or mag chloride.
When walking in snow, always wear proper winter footwear and pay attention to your footing.
Salt doesn’t need to be seen to be working. This winter try and be a little #LessSalty.
To learn more visit peelregion.ca/LessSalty or follow us on Twitter @RegionofPeel #LessSalty.
Media ContactsGloria Leonardis
Region of Peel
905-791-7800 ext. 4667
The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram @peelregion.ca.