IS ROAD SALT BAD FOR THE EARTH?
In the past few years there has been a growing concern among the public to rock salt suppliers about the environmental impact of road salt. Like any chemical compound, salt does have an environmental effect so as a leading rock salt supplier, we want to discuss how road salt can be used effectively and with minimal environmental impact.
As a bulk rock salt supplier, we provide information about our products (see our comparison chart here) including its corrosivity and its environmental impact. Some of our products score low in both corrosion and environmental impact, while rock salt, the most commonly used salt by municipalities to keep roads clear, is considered moderate in both respects. Although it has a moderate score, rock salt is preferred more over its counterparts because it is inexpensive and overall impact free.
Sourcing And The Safe Use of Road Salt
Firstly, it’s important to consider where rock salt suppliers get road salt from. Our salt is sourced sustainably, mined, with large pillars of salt being left behind to support the mine.
As rock salt suppliers, we advocate for the safe and responsible use of road salt. When used responsibly road salt can continue to be an effective solution to the dangers of icy roads. The first pillar of responsible use is to avoid over salting. Excess salt can cause adverse effects. One way for road crews to cut back on their use of salt is to pre-wet the salt. Road salt works by melting ice, this results in brine with a lower freezing point. As this brine spreads across the road it covers and melts surrounding areas. It’s tempting to try and speed the deicing process by dumping more salt, but it's more efficient to simply begin the process with dampened salt.
Secondly, the use of road salt can be reduced by paying close attention to weather patterns and forecasts. Rock salt providers encourage bulk orders, partly because it is effective to apply salt before a storm hits. This prevents snow from settling on the ground and pre-empts the buildup of ice. A good rock salt provider will also let you know that road salt is effective only until about negative nine degrees Celsius. This means waste can be avoided by closely monitoring pavement temperatures.
Road salt plays an important role in maintaining safe conditions on winter roads. But road workers and rock salt providers are working to make sure that it is being used in responsible ways. Pre-wetting road and rock salt to create a brine or mixing it with other de-icing agents minimizes any adverse environmental effects. Most importantly, this is the best methodical way road salt is used. Paying attention to the weather means that road salt can be applied at times when salt properties will be the most effective. With careful use, the benefits of road salt are maximized and the environmental impact is minimized.