Montgomery County Issues Winter Salt Use Reminder

The county’s Departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection, along with WSSC Water, have introduced the 2024 Salt Wise Campaign.

This initiative aims to increase awareness about the negative effects of using too much salt during winter weather on the environment and drinking water.

“While salt is crucial for maintaining safe winter conditions, excessive use can have detrimental effects on our environment and water supply,” said County Executive Marc Elrich in a press release. “Salt runs off into storm drains, local streams, and eventually, to the Potomac and Patuxent rivers, which are drinking water sources for people in Montgomery County. Salt can corrode concrete and masonry, harm pets, damage surrounding plants and lawns and adversely impact resident’s health through impacts to the water supply, which is why we need to all use it sparingly and clean it up after storms whenever possible.”  

The Salt Wise campaign presents a straightforward three-step approach for locals to maintain safe sidewalks and driveways while also minimizing environmental impact.

Residents can follow these three steps to be “Salt Wise”:

  1. Clear ice and snow promptly and regularly.
  2. Use 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) of salt for 10 sidewalk squares or a 20-foot driveway.
  3. After storms, gather up any excess salt for future use.

To report accidental salt spills on roadways, residents should contact MCDOT at (240) 777-0311 or 311 if calling from within the county. The department will coordinate cleanup efforts for county roads.

State roads fall under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Department of Transportation, while Montgomery County Public Schools handle their properties, and the county’s Department of General Services oversees public facilities like county libraries.

For more details on addressing salt use on residential and commercial properties, residents can visit MontgomeryCountyMD.gov/salt.

Photo: “2022-01-08 15 04 13 A close view of pink-dyed road salt on a sidewalk at the Franklin Farm Village Shopping Center in the Franklin Farm section of Oak Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia” by Famartin is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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