Importance Of Road Salt In Water

979 Words 4 Pages

By Karishma Porwal
School: St. John’s Kilmarnock School
Faculty Advisor: Miss. Jessica P Clough
Word Count (excluding footnotes): 942

Every year Ontario faces harsh winters that bring copious amounts of snowfall and ice. This results in more frequent occurrences of traffic accidents due to the lack of traction on the icy roads. This problem is dealt with by lining the streets with road salt, more commonly known as gritting, which essentially lowers the melting point of the ice and therefore the roads become safer to drive on. This method has been in regular use since the 1920s in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere
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This surface run off of road salt is toxic to young fish, plants and even pets . The rate of accumulation of road salt in water bodies is alarmingly high and should not be ignored as 3,600 tons of road salt poisons Frenchman’s Bay, a lagoon in Lake Ontario every year . This water pollution poses a threat to the Grand River and other freshwater bodies in Ontario. Aside from endangering wildlife and freshwater, gritting roads is expensive to any government that makes use of it, with statistics showing that the City of Toronto spends around 10 million dollars every year on gritting salt …show more content…
In order to do this, awareness must be increased and as must active participation. Schools should endorse a province wide ‘Salt Awareness Week’ across Ontario where children (from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8) are educated, through the use of presentations, videos made by environmentalist and field trips, about the dangers of using road salt. As young children, the plight of animals (namely, pets) can be used as a point of persuasion as children will likely go home and discourage their parents from spreading salt on the sidewalk. The agenda for this week could include the creation of colourful posters outlining the dangers of excessive salt use, trips to local frozen rivers along with wildlife spotting in ponds and the promotion of shoveling as a solution. This ‘Salt Awareness Week’ should revolve around shoveling the snow as a more environmentally friendly alternative. It should be presented to children as a fun filled activity for the whole family to get involved in by suggesting a ‘shoveling race’ to introduce a competitive element to the activity. Such encouragement will reduce the amount of grit spread on pavements and that alone will bring down the run off into streams

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