Road salt has adverse effects on the environment when it washes off roadways, seeps into the ground, and enters our waterways. This increases salt levels in aquatic systems thus dehydrating plants and lowering water quality. Furthermore, road salt spills off onto parkway trees causing adverse effects on tree biology. Water amphibians and insects are also at risk with increasing salt concentrations.
The Village of Northbrook utilizes a beet juice/salt brine blend to pre-treat roads before snow falls, which contributes to less salt being used on roadways. In the news of an incoming snowstorm or wintry weather, Village roads are pre-treated so that accumulation of snow and ice is delayed. This means there is less snow and ice to be melted with salt, thus resulting in about 30% reduction in road salt used.
Did you know that you can do the same at home? Instead of using salt to remove snow or ice from your driveway or sidewalk, consider making your own salt brine to pre-treat your sidewalk or driveway. This can help you reduce your salt usage by up to 30%. To learn how you can pre-treat your driveway or sidewalk with a salt brine and reduce the amount of salt you use, see graphics provided below courtesy of Jim Huff of Huff and Huff and Jeremy Reynolds, Environmental Quality Commission Chair.