Montgomery County and WSSC Water to Detail ‘Salt Wise’ Campaign on Thursday, Dec. 15, Using Less Salt and Keeping People Safe During Winter Storms

by Patrick Herron

The event will be held at the County’s Gaithersburg Salt Barn, which is located at 17000 Crabbs Branch Way in Gaithersburg.

Salt runs off into storm drains, local streams and eventually, to the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. Those waterways are drinking water sources for 1.8 million residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Salt can corrode concrete and masonry, harm pets, damage surrounding plants and lawns and adversely impact the water supply.

MCDOT will outline how the department is minimizing salt use while keeping roads safe during winter storms. The first-place painted plow from MCDOTs Middle School Paint the Plow Contest will also be on display. All 14 painted plow entries will be coming through Montgomery County neighborhoods during snow-clearing events with creative names given by local middle school students. DEP will highlight the Salt Wise campaign’s three-step method for residents to keep sidewalks and driveways safe, while also reducing harm to the environment. WSSC will demonstrate how salt harms the region’s water systems and drinking water.

Members of the media will be able to tour the County’s salt barn and salt mound, see the salt brine tanks and view the Paint the Plow Middle School Contest winning plow name and design from the spring contest. A demonstration will be given on how much salt is needed to clear driveways and sidewalks. Individual interviews will be available.

DEP will outline steps for residents to keep sidewalks safe while also protecting our water. They include:

  • Shovel ice and snow early and often.
  • Use one 12-ounce cup of salt for 10 sidewalk squares or for a 20-foot driveway.
  • After storm events, sweep up excess salt for reuse.

EVENT:  Start of Montgomery County’s “Salt Wise” Campaign

WHO:   Representatives from Montgomery County’s Departments of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation and WSSC Water

DATE:  Thursday, Dec. 15

TIME:  4:45 a.m.

LOCATION:  Montgomery County’s Gaithersburg Salt Barn. 17000 Crabbs Branch Way, Gaithersburg.

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