Snow Maintenance Practices for Healthy Waters

The snow is here!

Did you know that proper snow management can help protect our waters? Seasonal management of snow and ice on large, impervious parking surfaces (and sidewalks) are contributing to salt and sediment pollution to freshwater resources.

Once applied, snow and ice melting compounds become a permanent pollutant. They pollute nearby soils and, when dissolved in water through runoff or infiltration, contaminate surface and groundwater resources. Sand and other abrasives end up in stormdrains and cause sedimentation of
stormwater ponds, lakes and rivers.

Excess salt in soils causes:
– vegetation die offs
– soil erosion
– soil compaction

Applying Best Management Practices (BMP’s) can reduce the amount of pollutants entering our waters.


Best Management Practices include:

  • Storing snow away from storm drains, ditches, ponds, creeks, and wetlands
  • Storing salt and sands indoors on an impervious surface
  • Utilizing proper equipment and inspect to ensure it is functioning as expected
  • Removing snow early and often to reduce the amount of compaction and need for ice removal
  • Understanding the products you are using:
     sand provides traction—it does not melt ice
     salt—only effective when the air temperature is warmer than the pavement temperature.
  • Understanding a little goes a long way under the right conditions.
  • Following manufacturer application rates

Click the brochure image below for information about proper snow and ice maintenance

To find out more information about
protecting our water resources, visit:

Renew Our Waters

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