A few facts about road salt:
Salt does not “disappear” after a storm event. When snow and ice melt, road salt washes into local streams – some of which feed into drinking water supplies – or is absorbed into the ground road-side, where the salt can end up in groundwater supplies or be washed into streams with every rain storm.
Alternatives still require salt. Alternatives to road salt, like beet juice or cheese waste, are not salt-free – they simply offer alternative ways to get salt to stick to the road so less salt is needed.
You do not have to feel “the crunch” for salt to do its job. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water so snow and ice can be more easily removed. Putting more salt on a surface does not make snow and ice melt faster or eliminate the need for plowing or shoveling.
The best way to reduce salt use is to talk to your municipality or state DOT. You can’t fix this problem on your own. Government agencies apply the road salt. The best way for them to reduce salt use – while still keeping drivers safe – is to work with truck drivers and make sure too much salt isn’t going on roads. These resources can help with best management practices.