Does Using Rock Salt Hurt The Environment?

When the snow starts to build up and gets too thick on roads and public places, many municipalities and cities rely on rock salts. This is the cheapest, easiest and effective way of de-icing the streets.

De-icing is very important because it can prevent accidents on roads and at the same time provides a nice road for people walking past the streets. However, are rock salts safe for the environment? What can be the result of using rock salt for removing piles of snow and ice on the road? Here are the answers to that.

Using rock salts can harm fresh water and lake animals

We know how effective rock salts are when it comes to removing ice from the road and streets. However, once they get washed out, they will go to tunnels and canals that lead to rivers, ponds, streams, and lakes. When that happens, the saltiness of the water increases and can kill various animals and fishes that living there. These animals and fishes are not used to saltwater so they will die living in this type of environment.

Too much salt is not good for the soil

We know that there are some elements on the salt that can be good for soil fertilization. However, too much salt can be dangerous to the soil and especially to plants and trees. Using rock salt causes an imbalance in the nutrients in the soil which de-fertilizes it instead of fertilizing it. As a result, you will have dead soil and plants will not grow and other existing plants might die.

Too much salt can create dead zones at the bottom of lakes and ponds

Long-term application of rock salts causes sediment formation at the bottom of lakes and ponds, causing what they call dead zones in the area. We know that the bottom of lakes and ponds are also soils and sand. Underneath these bodies of water are living organisms there that are essential for the balance and ecosystem of these underwater environments. Too much salt can damage and destroy the balance.

What should be done? Can we still use rock salts for de-icing?

When it comes to de-icing, you can use a variety of methods and products out there. There are liquid de-icers, and other elements that we can use that are not harmful or has less impact on the environment. We can still use rock salts at a minimal level. That is why it important to have a variety of de-icing methods and strategies so that the use of rock salts can be minimized.