Importance of Good Salt Management
Salt is necessary as an effective de-icer in the cold New England winters, but it carries with it harmful environmental effects. Our reliance on salt has led to higher levels of chloride in freshwater bodies in Portsmouth. If left unmanaged, chloride concentrations can reach toxic levels and add immense ecological stress. It is important for all of us as residents to consider the environmental impact that salt has and try to only use as much as is necessary to fight against ice.
A good rule of thumb for typical rock salt ice melt is to use 4 pounds per 1000 square feet of pavement. A more visual rule of thumb is 3 inches of space in between salt grains.
Rock salt is less effective against ice at lower temperatures, and ineffective at temperatures below 15°F. At such temperatures, using sand or kitty litter proves to be a better way to provide traction in icy conditions.