The Winter Parking Lot and Sidewalk Maintenance Manual contains environmental tips identified with the following alert box.
Below is a summary of environmental tips found in the winter parking lot and sidewalk maintenance manual.
- Sand fills in lake bottoms, accelerating the aging process of lakes. Lakes get shallower as they age, some eventually becoming wetlands.
- Apply wisely. The chemicals applied cannot be recovered.
- Measuring the area, along with knowing the pavement temperature, will allow the use of the application rate charts. This will help to reduce the amount of chemicals applied
- Some fish species are affected by concentrations of less than 1000 ppm NaCl, about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of salt in 5 gallons of water.
- Anti-icing is the most cost-effective and environmentally safe practice in winter maintenance. This is the direction to pursue.
- Anti-icing requires less material, and less material means less water pollution.
- Because it uses less materials, mechanical snow and ice removal is the best strategy for protecting the water
- Cover salt and salt/sand piles and place on an impervious pad to limit runoff and infiltration of chlorides.
- Once chlorides enter the ground or surface water, they never go away.
- One 50 lb. bag of salt can contaminate over 10,000 gallons of water.
- Prevent groundwater contamination. Do not locate storage areas near wells. Limestone regions with fissures and sinkholes are very prone to groundwater contamination, as are those with sandy soils.
- Salt spray damages budding and branching of trees
- Salt storage areas are often a source of groundwater contamination. To reduce risk, have a covered storage area on an impervious pad. Take measures to keep salt or salt brine from leaving storage area.
- Two common overuses of salt 1) applying to already wet surfaces, and 2) not giving the material enough time to work and adding more salt on top of the first application of salt.
- Use cautiously. Many deicers contain trace metals including cyanide, arsenic, lead, and mercury.
- Using less material is an effective approach to protecting our water resources. It is difficult to recover salt or sand once applied
- Using less salt doesn’t have to reduce safety, but it does protect the lakes, streams and groundwater.
- Our waters are threatened by contracts which are based on fees for material use. This encourages overuse of materials.
- Storm drains lead to the nearest lake, river, pond, or wetland. They do not go to a treatment plant.