When snow and ice are on the ground, every homeowner wants to remove them as quickly as possible without doing damage to their sidewalk or driveway. However, did you realize that you could be doing damage to your drinking water supply and pipes? Using salt on roads, walkways and driveways can do serious harm to local drinking water supplies in wells, water reservoirs and streams. How does salt cause harm, and how can you start protecting your drinking water?
What Problems Does Salt Cause During the Winter?
When you use salt to treat ice and snow, the salt does not go away once the snow and ice melt down. Instead, it seeps into the ground, enters wells and flows with stormwater to its destination in reservoirs, other wells or streams. According to a recent report from WSSC, only 1 teaspoon of salt can permanently pollute 5 gallons of water so that it will be toxic to freshwater ecosystems. Once the salt enters the freshwater supply, it will not evaporate or dissipate.
Salt in freshwater streams can harm plants, aquatic animals and wildlife who rely on the stream for clean water. It also pollutes the surrounding soil. The salt used to prevent ice and melt snow can also damage buildings, corrode vehicles, eat away at pavement and corrode the same pipes that are protecting your drinking water. Sodium chloride (salt) levels in drinking water reservoirs are rising year after year, which could lead to major problems in the future.
How Can Salt in Drinking Water Hurt Humans?
Beyond the damage that it can do to ecosystems in our area, salt present in your drinking water can make you very sick. If you are on a low-sodium diet for your health, elevated salt levels in your water that aren’t noticeable could increase your blood pressure and make you sick. If there are 20 mg/liter or higher concentrations of sodium in your drinking water, you should drink filtered or treated water if you are on a low-sodium diet. Current projections anticipate that WSSC reservoir levels could exceed that level within 10-15 years if the current trends do not reverse.
How Can You Start Protecting Your Drinking Water?
First, you can start by using non-salt methods to take care of ice and snow on your property during the winter months. Shovel your snow early and clean off the pavement before ice has a chance to form. When there is ice present, use the smallest amount of sodium chloride possible to take care of it. A 12-ounce cup of salt is enough to treat 10 sidewalk squares or a 20-foot driveway. Do not pretreat your driveway and sidewalk. If you put salt on the pavement before the snow starts falling, it will not make it instantly melt or prevent sticking. Instead, it could just be wasted and become runoff into local water supplies.
How Can You Start Protecting Your Drinking Water at Home?
Water treatment plants work to remove toxins from the water, but they do not always do as thorough of a job as you might expect. Particularly if you use well water, there is no guarantee that you are not drinking water with elevated levels of sodium chloride. Hague Quality Water of Maryland works with homeowners relying on WSSC or other municipal water supplies, private wells and other freshwater reservoirs that may have elevated levels of salt.
The best way to protect your family is with quality water filtration from Hague Quality Water of Maryland. The Hague WaterMax® is a cutting edge filtration solution that can remove contaminants, sediment, excess salt and dirt from your water supply. There are customizable solutions for well water and city water, as well as treating specific contaminants. We have contactless water testing kits that allow you to safely collect a water sample and have it tested by our professionals. If you prefer, one of our water specialists can also take a sample at your home. We will complete a broad range of tests so that you can start protecting your drinking water with proper filtration or treatment.
Our test will include information about levels:
- Total Dissolved Solids
- And More!
Keep Salt Out of Your Drinking Water with Hague Quality Water of Maryland
If your family is concerned about elevated salt levels in your water, we are here to help with your water improvement projects. As a new offering and in addition to our free on-site water test for new customers, we are offering a contact-free water test kit for only $200. This kit is mailed directly to you so that you can take samples and mail them to a lab. You’ll receive the results directly and our team can work with you to determine the perfect solution for your situation. Whether you need the Hague WaterMax® or additional filtration beyond that, our team cares deeply about the health and safety of your family. To purchase your kit today, click here. For additional assistance, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 757-2992.