Where does all of the road salt go?

Salt was poured out onto state highways across Delmarva last week in an effort to make roadways safer following the heavy snow, but all that road salt has to go somewhere.

Studies suggest road salt often ends up in our rivers and streams and sometimes, our drinking water.

They say it happens when snow melts and all that road salt runs off into nearby ditches, leading to water sources like bays and rivers and sometimes ground water.

Maryland State Highway officials say they are well aware of the issues road salt can cause environmentally, and that is why they are trying to cut back on their salt usage.

They say they now brine the roads before a snow storm, which reduces their overall usage, since brine is only 25% salt.

Moving forward, Maryland State Highway officials say they hope to continue their successful efforts to decrease salt use in the state.

Russ Yurek, MSHA's Director of the Office of Maintenance said, "Well we're hoping to continue the reduction of salt, okay? The amount of salt that we use and over the last three winters, we have actually been able to reduce the amount of salt that we use by 50%."

When asked about other alternatives to road salt, MSHA officials say most of the alternatives are chlorides, meaning they're not much better for the environment. They add that salt is much cheaper than other alternatives.

Categories: Local News, Maryland

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