It has long been established that the use of rock salt has negative effects on the environment. In fact there are documented cases of contamination to drinking water and complete destruction of aquatic eco systems due to excessive salt use. Samples from a storm sewer near Toronto had recorded levels 140 times over the limit set by the provincial Government.
Both Environment Canada and the Environment Protection Agency in the U.S. have done studies and are working on solutions to manage this problem. The salt and other chemicals get into the water system through a number of direct and indirect ways. Once the salt gets into the eco system, there is no way of removing it. It can only be diluted over time. This can be very problematic for sensitive eco systems that have a slow turnover of fresh water such as natural and even artificial ponds.
The best solution for this matter is to take preventative measures. XYNYTH Manufacturing has developed 3 products that are ideal to address this issue. GroundWorks Natural Icemelter™ and Mountain Organic Natural Icemelter™ were among the first environmentally friendly ice melt products to be introduced. These are fertilizer based icemelters, making them an ideal alternative for eco sensitive areas. Because they contain potassium chloride, the run off will actually feed the plants. This ultimately means less sodium chloride will get into the water supply. It should be noted that icemelters containing urea should be strictly avoided around water ways. Urea contains nitrogen and breaks down to ammonia in the environment, which is extremely toxic to aquatic life, even in small doses.
XYNYTH has recently introduced a new product called Winter Warrior Runway Control™. This product is completely chloride free and urea free. While it was initially designed for runway use, being that it is completely non-corrosive
and federally approved, it is also ideal for use around sensitive water systems. It is important to not associate all
“pet friendly” ice melters with fish friendly products. Some products like Safe-t-Pet™ or Safe Paw™ are made with urea. While urea is usually safe around animals, it is deadly to aquatic life.
A little chloride is not so bad, as it seems to be well known by owners of fish ponds that adding some chlorides can be beneficial to act as water softeners and help reduce parasites. Some experts also recommend using potassium based chlorides as they have some benefits to fish. For best results consult your local expert.