Deice Driveways and Sidewalks With Less Salt

Virtual Deicing Worshops

Lake County averages 34 inches of snow per year, causing innumerable driving and walking hazards during the long winter months. Many communities and individuals reduce these hazards by treating roads, parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks with chemical deicers.

Unfortunately, most of the road salt (sodium chloride) and other chemicals used to melt ice and snow wind up in our streams, lakes, and groundwater.

Once road salt dissolves, there is no practical way to remove the chlorides from water resources, according to the Northwest Water Planning Alliance. The chloride then harms native wildlife and plants. At high levels, it can be toxic to aquatic wildlife, such as fish, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates.

Excessive sodium in soils can stunt plant growth, damage vegetation, and kill plants. Salt-tolerant invasive plant species often replace vulnerable native plants, leading to a decrease in native plant diversity. It also causes damage to infrastructure such as pavement and buildings.

Fortunately, better techniques can help us get good results, even with less salt. These techniques will be the focus of virtual workshops hosted by the Salt Smart Collaborative, in cooperation with the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, on October 3 and October 17.

The 4-hour workshops, aimed primarily at municipal and public works personnel, are open to members of the public who manage snow removal at businesses, churches, or residences.

For more information about the webinars, visit