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Salt/Deicing Chemicals


Salt can make it safer for us to walk and drive around. It helps keep roads open, and allows businesses, government and social services to stay open with little interruption. This is a good thing. However, excess salt can find it's way down the storm drain when the ice melts. When salt (chloride) levels get too high, it harms water quality (especially our drinking water), impacts plants and animals, and damages infrastructure and vehicles.

In fact, salt levels in the Potomac River and Occoquan Reservoir - both of which are local drinking water sources have risen noticeably over the past decades, with average concentrations more than doubling! Salty water is difficult to treat and can lead to increased treatment and maintenance costs for water suppliers.

Salty water also causes corrosion and damage to vehicles, roads, bridges, sidewalks and parking lots leads to higher maintenance and replacements costs. Plus the extra salinity can have a negative impact on freshwater fish and other aquatic life that live in our streams.

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