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Road salt may be causing environmental damage

The icy road conditions are treated with salt but where does the salt go?

Posted: Feb. 2, 2018 7:10 PM
Updated: Feb. 3, 2018 11:25 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)-- Up to 22 million tons of road salt is used every winter in the United States.

While the roads are clear right now, all that salt is still doing a lot of damage to waterways.

According to Wabash River Enhancement Corporation Executive Director, Stan Lambert, 20 to 22 million tons of salt nation wide is used on roads.

That creates major problems with salt running into rivers and lakes.

West Lafayette, Mayor John Dennis, says they are working towards a safer alternative to clear the roadways. Dennis says they are focusing on using that pre-treatment beet juice. Before salting the roads to help the environment.

"There are chemical treatments that we do use but they are natural treatments such as beat juice we pretreat roads with the beat juice and that keeps the roads from icing up," Dennis said.

Environmental Engineer, Sarah McMillan, says there is a lot of salt being applied.

"There is an increasing amount of salt being added then reaching out storm drains and going into our streams" McMillan said.

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