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‘Tis the season: Use deicing salts with care

Cluster of deicing salt on cement steps.
More is not better in the case of deicing salts!

Every year, we remind people about the careful use of deicing salts and how they affect our landscapes.

Slippery conditions can be treacherous on our streets, driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. Deicing salts are used to prevent ice from forming, saving many of us an embarrassing fall (or worse). Icy surfaces can be hazardous and liability for business owners, homeowners and municipalities.

However, deicing salts can sometimes be applied improperly, and this can lead to less-than-satisfactory results. Used incorrectly, these salts can also pollute our groundwater (the source of drinking water), burn plants, and raise salt levels in our soils. They are also toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.

Take a few minutes to read The effects of deicing salts on our landscapes. Deicing salts can damage and pollute our ecosystems. This webpage provides guidance for properly maintaining driveways, walks and street areas to reduce — and even eliminate — the need for deicing salts just in time for another Minnesota winter.

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