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Reducing salt amounts for de-icing must be stepped up to protect groundwater: researcher

U of Waterloo researcher says amounts must be reduced by 25 per cent over next five years

May 8, 2024  By Turf & Rec

Groundwater and lakes in Ontario are becoming saltier, and the need to reduce road salt use during the winter months is something that can’t wait, researchers from the University of Waterloo say.

Many landscape contractors who provide snow and ice services during the winter use salt to keep parking lots, driveways and sidewalks free of ice, but the downside is that salt is making its way into groundwater and surface water bodies. In surface water, increased salt levels leads to oxygen depletion.

Philippe Van Cappellen, a professor and researcher at the University of Waterloo, says municipalities must monitor their road sale use and strive to reduce amounts by 25 per cent over the next five years.

Some contractors have tried alternative forms of de-icing agents, including beet juice.

This article is part of the Snow & Ice Week.

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