Peel Region winter road operations are well underway as snow and icy conditions continue. Colder nights at or below freezing can create the formation of ice on the cold pavement resulting in roadways that are less safe for travel.
As we continue to experience snow or freezing rain conditions, road and sidewalk crews, parking lot owners and residents apply rock salt. Unfortunately, salt doesn’t disappear when snow and ice melt as it mixes with water from melting snow or rain and makes its way into our rivers and lakes. Over time, this salt can harm the environment, wildlife, and quality of our drinking water sources.
To keep drivers safe, and support a healthy environment, Peel Region monitors the weather and sends its trucks to apply liquid salt brine to roads and bridges, where needed. The water in the brine evaporates and the salt residue that is left forms a barrier to reduce slippery conditions. Salt brine contains less salt and sticks to the roadway whereas solid rock salt, when spread on a dry roadway, will scatter to the edges by moving vehicles and more will have to be applied. If there is no precipitation, the salt brine stays active on the road for several days.
The Region’s winter operations focus on using the right material, the right amount, at the right time and the right place. Staff have many tools to keep the traveling public moving safely and to use salt wisely to protect the environment.
We are committed to keeping our roads safe and clear of snow and ice while applying salt responsibly. Peel Region Roads Operations continue to research new methods and alternatives to help reduce the amount of salt used, while maintaining our bare pavement standards. The Region has a salt management plan in place that focuses on best practices and techniques to ensure the safety of our residents while minimizing the impacts of salt to the environment.”
Mark Crawford, Manager, Road Operations & Maintenance, Transportation, Public Works
We can all reduce our salt use this winter and stay safe. Before applying salt:
- Shovel first! Clear snow from driveway and walkways as soon as possible.
- Only use salt once the snow is removed in areas needed for safety.
- Only salt in temperatures above –10C, try using alternatives such as sand, grit, non-clumping kitty litter when temps are below –10C.
- Remember, salt doesn’t need to be seen to be working.
- Excess salt left behind on driveways and walkways can be swept up and used for another day.
Let’s all practice being a little #LessSalty.
Safety tip: remember to wear proper winter footwear while walking to and from the car and pay attention to your step!
Learn how to manage salt use at home or at commercial properties and what the Region is doing to reduce salt use while maintaining safe roads.
Follow us on Twitter @PeelPublicWorks for snow clearing updates. #LessSalty
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