What has Seattle banned the use of salt on city streets?



  1. 0 Votes

    Some studies have shown that the use of salt to manage snowy city streets can cause serious environmental problems like making freshwater streams so salty that wildlife can’t survive. The road salt in Seattle would eventually find its way to Puget Sound, which is an estuary where salty sea water and fresh streams mix. Adding more salt could effect the ecosystem in the streams and the Sound.

    Although the city quit using salt back in the 90’s, many argue that management of the snow is not sufficient. Some argue that the accidents and disruption caused by lack of appropriate measures is more harmful than just using salt. Sand is being used instead of salt and this can clog up drains and sewers and cause its own harm.

  2. 0 Votes

    I would add, too, that salt (and sand) have adverse effects on street tree/shrub plantings (something Seattle prizes). Also damage to the roads (and bike lanes) inevitably cost the city money.  Salt basically damages just about everything it comes in contact with. According to an environmental report by Allegheny Front’s Environmental Radio: “salt moves through concrete and attacks structural steel, bridges, roads, parking structures; it eats the mortar out of bricks and foundations.”

  3. 0 Votes

    Salt can also damage the underside of cars and may damage drinking water and local aquifers. Also, due to the ineffectiveness of the alternative methods the city was using, which lead to an increase in car accidents, the city did switch back to using salt last year, and provided more walking paths so that people could drive less.

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