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Marathon County calls on public to use less salt this winter

While it can help with icy conditions, salt can cause a lot of damage too. Leftover salt has been known to erode concrete, rust cars, hurt pets, and blow away into sewers and waters.
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 9:24 AM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -

The DNR and the city of Wausau are urging people to use less salt this winter.

While it can help with icy conditions, it can cause a lot of damage too. Leftover salt has been known to erode concrete, rust cars, hurt pets, and blow away into sewers and waters.

Over the years the Ric Mohelnitzky with the Marathon County Public Works Department said local waters have become saltier because of our Wisconsin winters.

To combat all the implications salt has, the city has been working to limit its salt usage. Over time the department has upgraded equipment, switched to ice remover and sand, and joined in on Wisconsin winter conventions and training sessions.

“Were utilizing several techniques and some different equipment. We’ve done different things in past years and we’re continuing to do that to looking at newer equipment to reduce the amount of salt that we need to make the road safer to travel,” Mohelnitzky explained.

Mohelnitzky said they hope to continue to move away from salt and upgrade their procedure.

While the city has put in a lot of work, Mohelnitzky said the community needs to change its actions for Marathon County to see change.

“When we see that material is out there, and the snow and ice have gone, we can maybe sweep that up and reuse that for the next storm. try to minimize how much we use,” Mohelnitzky said.

For Wisconsin salt awareness week, the city is asking community members to pay attention to how much salt they are using and consider switching to sand, kitty litter, or anti-freeze if they can.

Those products work best for all temperatures, while salt only does anything when temps are above 15 degrees.

If you do choose to use salt, Mohelnitzky said to scatter it as much as you can. One coffee mug should be enough to cover a 20-foot driveway. Another way to limit ice is to shovel often so the snow doesn’t turn to ice.

For more information on how you can limit your salt use visit Wisconsin’s Salt Wise website here.

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