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A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: Time to start planning to reduce salt use next winter

May 3, 2019
By Cathy Moore - Publisher ( , Lake Placid News

With summer around the corner, it's time to plan for winter. Yes, you heard me right. As I take my winter slacks to the dry cleaner, you can tell I'm from the North Country with salt rings around the bottom of the pant legs. I need to clean and polish my salt-stained shoes and boots, too.

Next I'll need a pick ax to chisel off the salt encrusted floor mats in my vehicle. One of effects of overuse of salt in our area is the damage it does to our vehicles. I took my car to a mechanic on Long Island, and he asked if the car was in the ocean from Hurricane Sandy. He said that's the only time he's seen so much corrosion from salt.

However, the worst problem is when the salt gets into the well water.

I learned about the seriousness of this when we were going through water in our water cooler at work faster than usual. When I saw an employee leaving with a jug of water, I found out her water was compromised due to road salt.

Water keeps us alive, and we mustn't take it for granted. Now is the time to start planning on how to manage the roads and sidewalks for next winter. Be mindful when putting down heaps of salt around your house and business, which washes into our groundwater, lakes and streams.

A report from the Cary Institute points out the effects road salt is having on human health, groundwater and infrastructure while proposing several solutions.

It is great to find that several groups are already using this information locally. Representatives of the Lake Clear Association, Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute, AuSable River Association and towns and villages have been working to find alternatives to the damaging salt. This awareness now will help avoid the problems by next winter.

It's hard to start planning for winter when there is snow still on the ground now. But to avoid further salt in the wounds, I encourage everyone to help with finding an alternative.



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