Road Salt road salt is the natural form of table salt. Road salt is usually a grey or brown colour

Environment issues from use of Road Salt

Brampton has many environmental issues that can be resolved, by this brampton can be more environmentally friendly and more sustainable. In winter months when it snows the snow removal trucks some and moves the snow onto the sides of the road. While putting road salt onto the road, when it rains or the snow starts melting, the road salt starts falling into the storm drains travelling into local stream and continuing into bigger lakes and rivers such as the great lakes poisoning and killing fish, frogs or any other marine life that consumes it. This can have and affect on any other city as rivers/lakes go through multiple cities as if it goes from a local stream all the way to lake ontario (which is possible) that is all the way in Toronto.

If this gets to Lake Ontario where most of our local supply of fresh water comes from we can contaminate it limiting us to less fresh water. Our local water comes from Lake Ontario where it gets purified in a process that is really hard for it to keep out road salt out of the purification stage afters its dissolved. They don’t just take out the water from lake Ontario and give it to us they go through a purifying session that goes like this a five km pipe outscore suck in the water the take it to the screening room in the front of the facility that take out any trash or debris out of the water, then the water goes into a tank where chlorine is added to the water to kill microorganisms.

After it is moved to a purifying container that make the water go through carbon, sand and gravel, then moved over the an another tank during water is moving they add more chlorine and also adds fluoride, then it is moved again to a place where they treat and test the water but in the process in be moved to the testing room the add sulphur dioxide, after water is test and treated water is lifted up into a pump and distributes the water homes, apartments, gas stations and etc. This is a long stage and really expensive as taxes can be raised because of price and the time it takes, plus now adding road salt would take even longer which results in more money.

A solution to this problem can be we can make road salt that environmentally friendly as when it goes into storm drains it can possibly clean the water instead of contaminating it and poisoning other marine life. Calgary is preventing this problem using anti-icing which is a much more environmentally friendly way. When snow is predicted a calcium chloride, anti-icing solution is applied to roadways around the city of Calgary.

This is an environmentally friendly combo helps prevent ice and snow from piling up on the road during snowfall. Our city uses about 40,000 to 50,000 tonnes of road salt each year, this can be prevented by using anti-icing which would be cheaper, more environmentally friendly, more efficient and works much better leaving us with better road conditions improving traffic.

Anti-Icing And How It Helps

We can create a solution to this problem by 2041 as this saves us about 25% of the salt we use (we used 40,000-50,000 tonnes of salt annually). This could be a solution to the salt problem because salt needs moisture to melting ice and snow unlike anti-icing as it is a kick start which starts melting ice and snow right away. This can be applied in advance and won’t get soaked up into the road or won’t go into the storm drains, even if a little gets into the storm drains it does not affect the water as much as salt. This is happening in Pittsburgh and this should be happening in Canada as it is a more environmentally friendly. I think Brampton should start using anti-icing, this would be a big investment for Brampton but would be worth it. As salt is much more expensive, salt doesn't do as good of a job as anti-icing and more environmentally friendly.

Physical And Chemical Properties

  • Road salt usually looks like small or big crystals depending on the size of the bag
  • Usually odourless
  • Melting point is 800 degrees celsius
  • Boiling point is 1465 degrees celsius
  • Road salt is classified as NaCl (sodium and chloride)
  • Feels like small crystals or small rocks
  • Looks like a blend of grey and brown or white

Hazards Of Using Road Salt

Road salt can actually damage concrete and some metals. Road salt can contaminate drinking water, when used it can damage crops and farms nearby the roads. Road salt can harm plants, crops and aquatic plants and road salt is very dangerous because it takes about a decade for road salt to be fully flushed out of a watershed, this is dangerous because in some farms watersheds are the main source of water to plants and crops. Road salt can not only damage crops and plants but road salt can also harm animals and pets. The ASPCA (animal poison control center) said that if pets or animals digest, lick their paws and eating/ drinking the snow can cause their pets and these animals to possibly start to drool, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low blood pressure and many more bad side effects.

Usefulness Of Using Road Salt

Road salt helps melt snow and ice which is good because road salt actually prevents the risk of accidents which makes it safer for people to drive. When using road salt the road salt creates a layer between the snow and the road called brine, and that prevents the snow or ice from sticking to the ground making it easier for us to shovel the snow. Road salt also improves fuel economy because road salt makes it easier to drive which means less people calling absent for work.

Effect on Economy

Road salts are widely used all across Canada as forms of anti-icing chemicals for mainly as a way to maintain the harsh, winter roads. As road salt is a easy way for us to maintain the roads, there are some major economic impacts. An economic impact of road salt in Canada include damage to roads, bridges and parking garages such as corrosion taking place on all infrastructures. Due to do these damages, there are now costs of implementing corrosion protection procedures. Also, the salt corrosion caused by road salt affect many aspects of motor vehicles which then need to be repaired. When all of these costs are accounted for, the costs of road salts become substantial.

Not only does road salt have economic impacts on Canada, but also internationally. A recent study has shown that the environmental service commissioner in Rochester, New York purchased about 27,000 tons of road salt. He paid 46.80 dollars per ton this year but last year it was 38.30 dollars per a ton. Road maintenance for winter takes 20% of the budget for transportation maintenance. State and local agencies spend about 2.3 billion dollars on on snow and ice control yearly.

Over the last year the salt production rose over 9%. A report taken showed that in 2014 the salt production industry was for 2.2 billion now over 2 years the salt production is a 2.3 billion dollar industry. This means that the salt industry made over 1 million dollars over a 2 year span due to the price of road salt increasing.


Created with images by LoggaWiggler - "winter trees snow" • Wolk9 - "salt salt mountain excavators" • Foxy_ - "cash coins pounds"

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